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Sacha Goldberger –Mamika


Sacha Goldberger figures among today’s preeminent advertising photographers. A former art director, his adventures with photography began with a disposable camera in 2003, when he created a picture book to declare his love to his girlfriend: Le petit livre de Je t’aime (The Little Book of I Love You). He followed it with a second book, Bye bye, then a third, Made in love, on the theme of birth. Sacha tells the story of his life through photos, with the temper and humor of a photomontage.

It was upon leaving his job as art director for an agency to become freelance and assistant photographer that his muse revealed herself: Mamika.

Mamika is his model, his source of inspiration, his field of experimentation, his alter ego, his creative double. She’s also his grandmother. Now in her eighties, Mamika retains her youthful spirit, not to mention “a real movie-star body.”

It all started when Sacha asked her for help “selling” his talents as an art director on his profile on my space. Mamika was a charming, funny and mischievous spokeswoman, giving her all to the project and keeping surprises rolling. So began their story , a man reviving his adolescent soul with the aid the free-spirited, non-conformist grandmother. Born in Hungary, Mamika is a noble woman, full of character and wit, one of the anonymous heroes who saved eleven people during the war.

Together, the grandson and grandmother revisited familiar objects and situations with a funny take: ironing the dog, skiing in the stairwell, taking flight on a treadmill, smoking a sausage, walking on the ceiling, defying gravity… incongruous scenes that subvert routine habits , making them funny, intriguing and ridiculous.

“All adults were children once, but few remember it,” wrote Saint-Exupéry in the preface to The Little Prince. Mamika and Sacha, it seems, do remember.

What happens to superheroes when they get old?

This is the question posed by Sacha in “seasons” two and three of the web series Mamika, who dons a helmet, cape and costume to live ordinary life extraordinarily.

The more successful the series became, the more resources Sacha could devote to it, eventually hiring a film crew and shooting in New York. The series revisits the myth of America and the myth of the superhero, transported into our daily life. With the aesthetic grandiloquence afforded by the comical settings and situations, the series offers us visual plays on words that make us both laugh and reflect.

At the same time, Goldberger continues work on his professional career. He did a series for WAD featuring Mamika, and others for So Chic and ELLE International. Sometimes Mamika appears alongside the models, and sometimes the models join Mamika in her universe. Ad departments are likewise clambering for his touch: Société Générale, Peugeot, Smart, Nicorette, K2R, BNP Paribas. No matter the job, Goldberger’s twisted comic style asserts itself.

“The ideas aren’t necessarily just for the companies.” Sacha developed his photographic style on the model of commercial photography: represent an idea, convey an emotion, seduce the viewer, sell the product. His method is the the same, but instead of a product, he’s selling a tale of modern times, seducing us with his images while touching us with humor and mischief.

Mamika was exhibited last Autumn at the Galerie Bailly in Paris.
Soon readers be able to to follow the adventures of Mamika and her sidekick Papika in book form, with two new characters to spice things up. Goldberger recently finished a script for a medium-length film that he plans to direct in 2012, underwritten in part by Canal +. The heroine is a grandmother with an incredible destiny, Frederika Goldberger (alias Mamika), who will be joined on screen by Mélanie Thierry and Mathieu Demy.

Séverine Morel
[email protected]

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