an intimate portrait of lukas ionesco

He’s starred in a Larry Clark film, walked for Gosha Rubchinskiy, plays in one of Paris’ coolest bands and is the counter culture’s newest heartthrob. Photographer and close friend George Nebieridze shoots the actor, skater and musician in Berlin.

by Anastasiia Fedorova and Anastasia Colosimo
09 February 2016, 3:59pm

21-year-old French actor, skater and musician Lukas Ionesco is everyone's latest crush. And if he's not your crush yet, he will be very soon. He first broke onto the scene as the latest counter culture heartthrob in Larry Clark's The Smell Of Us, a rough but tender film about a gang of Parisian skaters. Lukas, the grandson of Franco-Romanian erotic photographer Irina, has spent the years since trying to shake off the tag of being just one of Clark's new, painfully cool, totally beautiful and equally interchangeable teen muses.

Disillusioned, Lukas Ionesco stopped acting, stopped skating, and now spends his days playing with his band, DIAPERPIN, doing occasional modeling work and contemplating his next big move. He recently appeared in Gosha Rubchinskiy's fall/winter 16 show, sealing his status as the shining light of Paris' new underground scene.

"I've always been fascinated by Lukas," says his great friend, Berlin-based photographer, George Nebieridze, who shares with us here an exclusive series of intimate portraits of Ionesco, "not just because of his looks, but because of his presence when he's around -- that's what made me start taking photos of him in the first place. In my photos, it's not about looks, but about attitude." 

We caught up with Lukas to talk about his recent obsessions, Paris, fashion and life after Larry Clark.

Where in Paris did you grew up?
I grew up in Pigalle, in Montmartre. In Montmartre you have this strange feeling like you are in a small village, in a good way, though. Many people in the neighborhood saw me grow up. It's the best place in Paris for me, it's beautiful, it's poetic, romantic, and in some way rock'n'roll! At the moment I live nearby, in Place De Clichy, which has the same vibes.

How did you get into skating?
I started skating because at the time I hated sports, it was my only solution. I was mostly skating alone at night after school because I was mad about something and needed a way to let off some steam. Then of course, I started skating with my first skate crew. I've stopped now, but I still love it, I still watch skate videos every day and skate a bit with my friends! I stopped after the Larry Clark's film -- in some ways this movie disgusted me, with regards to skating. But when I went to Tbilisi I did it one last time for the beautiful documentary When Earth Seem to Be Light.

So what's your main passion right now?
My biggest passion right now is my music. I'm working on my band DIAPERPIN, and want to make it a really cool project. Watch out for it! I still go to movie castings sometimes, though.

Who are your heroes?
I don't have a hero; I'm not a fan. I think if you're a fan that means you think you can't be like them. But I really love people who inspire me like Jim Jarmusch and all his movie heroes, Gregg Araki's movies, the lifestyle they show. When it comes to music I'd say Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins.

You've been in a few photo shoots and also walked in Gosha Rubchinskiy's latest show. Does fashion mean a lot for you?
You know, I'm always a little bit around fashion, but actually I don't really like it. I like a few brands but nothing special. I prefer going to second hand shops, or cutting up my old clothes! The only big brand that I like at the moment is Gosha Rubchinskiy. I've followed his brand since the beginning. It's really me, it has that grunge attitude. I met him through a stylist friend, Lotta Volkova. Gosha really liked The Smell Of Us, and then we found out we had a lot of things in common. He asked me if I wanted to take part in his fashion show, and, of course, I said yes. But I wouldn't do it for another brand.

How do you feel about the attention around you and being photographed in general?
It depends. In the beginning when I was very young I used to really enjoy attention and people taking photos of me, it was cool. People ask to take pictures of me everyday. I'm super bored of it, I don't want it. It's bullshit. It's nice to work with a good friend like George, or a good photographer or a good magazine, but when people take pictures of me at parties and put it up on Tumblr, that's fucked up.

What do you like about George -- as a person and as a photographer?
I love George's work because his style and my style are very grunge, very 90s, very youth, very now, very teenage, very cool. It's me in the pictures, just simply me. He's always acted like my older brother, teaching me things and showing me stuff in Berlin and Tbilisi. We were always talking about music and art, and dreaming, always dreaming a lot together.


Text Anastasiia Fedorova
Photography George Nebieridze

larry clark
The Smell of Us
george nebieridze
Lukas Ionesco
gosh rubchinskiy
lotta volkova