Vijat Mohindra may be one of the world's most famous celebrity photographers, but he is not a celebrity. Instead, Mohindra is an artist.

With names like Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Pamela Anderson, Amanda Lepore and Paris Hilton on his resume, Mohindra is ready to break out as a fine art photographer. Born in Ohio and based in Los Angeles, Mohindra studied photography at Pasadena's legendary Art Center of College and Design. From there, his photography career took off as the biggest names and the hottest publications (e.g. Paper and V) featured Mohindra's work.

The magical Mohindra and I talk about his latest exhibit (Always Believe that Something Wonderful is About to Happen), primary colours, and why it's important to accept all forms of beauty.

Mountain View

Always Believe that Something Wonderful is About to Happen, which is debuting at MARS Gallery in Los Angeles, will be the first time you've had a solo exhibition. What made you launch your exhibition in Los Angeles?

I launched the exhibition in Los Angeles because that is where most of the work in the show was inspired and created. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 17 to attend Art Center college of Design, so after I graduated I decided to stay in LA and kept shooting and creating art. After developing my personal work for several years, I finally felt like I had a cohesive selection of images that really represented my point of view. Eighteen of those images will be featured in my first international exhibition entitled Always Believe That Something Wonderful Is About To Happen on display and for purchase at Museum as Retail Space (MaRS) Los Angeles until Jan. 14th 2017.

Vijat Mohindra©


In the exhibit, you feature photos of makeup artist Sharon Gault, dancer Amazon Ashley (who is best known for appearing on Miley Cyrus' Bangerz Tour and her music video 'BB Talk'), Amanda Lepore and Miley's cat, Shanti Om BB. How did they inspire you and what characters did they portray?

All the subjects I shoot are specifically hand selected to convey my vision of acceptance and love for all shapes, sizes and types of people we see in the world. I always felt there was such a narrow spectrum of what is considered acceptable and beautiful and I just completely disagree with that on every level. Society's archaic ideals of beauty seem to be created through insecurity rather than love and imagination. I can not wait to live in a world where that is gone and everywhere you look is truly inspirational and grows the world's visual intellect.

Vijat Mohindra©


You've staged your models against red, blue, yellow and white backdrops. It's something that I don't see in the majority of studio-based portraiture. Why did you choose these colours and how did they reflect the situation the characters?

I felt like the primary colours that I chose are the strongest colours in the colour spectrum. I also feel like these colours not only catch a viewer's attention immediately, but they also represent happiness, love and calm respectively, all things that I connect with as an artist. ​I also love the monochrome motif and gravitate towards things that can be considered optical illusions or tricks on the eyes.

Vijat Mohindra©


Your photographs are ultra-modernist and hyper-synthetic; however, it also has a very anti-vérité feel to it. How did you develop this aesthetic?

​I always went after a very ​polished look in my work, I think there is something so striking and memorable about high gloss images. I like combining that with subject matter that isn't usually seen in that light, and that's how I initially created my aesthetic. I also try to separate my images from real life by creating staged conceptualized scenes that are in direct opposition from the vérité aesthetic.

Vijat Mohindra©


Based on the scenarios, you featured death, temptation, confinement, and fetishism. Was there an overall theme that encompassed these situations? If so, how did they fit into the title?

​I never really thought about those themes you mentioned as motifs in my work, however, I do like the dynamic of bright bold colors that pull you into a slightly dark and disturbing atmosphere. The title is sort of a play on the situations you see in the images and really open to the viewer's own interpretation.

Vijat Mohindra©


You've studied at the Art Center of College and Design in Pasadena, where you earned a BFA in photography. Who/what motivated you to pursue photography? When did you realize that photography was your ultimate passion?

When I was pretty young, I was attracted to photography after looking at a portfolio of black and white photographs that my mom created in design school in the 1970s. The images have stuck with me ever since and I knew I wanted to use photography to inspire others in such a way. My life goal has always been to inspire whether creatively or otherwise. I love the positive energy that comes with inspiration and I think photography is the perfect vessel for creativity and inspiration.

As an artist, what do you hope to explore in the future?

My goal with my work is to build a bridge between my celebrity work and the type of work that is in my exhibition. I think it would be incredible to see iconic people in such an abstract yet polished light. Eventually I want to move more predominantly into fine art and use my work as a platform to address social issues.

Mountain View

You can view more of Mohindra's work by heading here.