In Mansur Gavriel’s debut photo-book, Tanya and Zhenya Posternak document the beautiful flora of LA’s flower market
Ukrainian twins Tanya and Zhenya Posternak have been collaborating with New York-based Mansur Gavriel on its campaign imagery for no fewer than five years, so it serves to follow that the duo’s unhurried, spontaneous compositions and vivid way with colour have become synonymous with the brand’s quiet and covetable luxury. Who better, then, to create LA Flower Market, a dreamy ode to Los Angeles’ floral haven, and Mansur Gavriel’s very first photo-book?
Published by Libraryman with art direction from Tony Cederteg, the book has been a long time in the making, explain the Posternaks. “The LA flower market is a modest space that, to our greatest surprise, turned out to have the strangest and the loveliest flowers ever imaginable,” they say. This discovery led to the twins’ decision “to document its beauty, to inspire others to seek it too, and to celebrate such simple things more often”.
The resulting book, LA Flower Market, is a gorgeous index of the market’s bounty – orchids, roses, tulips, glossy green leaves and sweet pink pineapples all make an appearance – offset by the presence of buckets, hoses and paper wrappings such as you’d expect to encounter at such a venue. This contrast was not lost on the Posternaks. The market is “ridiculously rich in flora,” they note, “and it’s fascinating to us how this natural palette can be mirrored in materials such as plastic and fabric”. The close crop of their shots (a signature of their practice) places focus on these textures, juxtaposing shiny petals with crumpled brown paper, silken pink stems with black plastic buckets, and a twisting turquoise hose pipe with a mass of foliage.
LA Flower Market is also a project dear to Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, the brand’s founders. They detail in the book’s introduction how the “beautiful stretch of industrial buildings in downtown Los Angeles filled with inspiring flowers and plants” that make up the market has come to symbolise the start of their own collaboration, and what would eventually become their eponymous brand. As such the book’s symbolism is twofold; it’s a celebration of the place, but also of how these four women have come to work together, each exploring new ideas and subjects in the process. “It has been quite a fruitful journey since first meeting Rachel and Floriana so long ago,” the Posternaks enthuse. “We have grown together in this time. They have taught us so much. And strangely enough, we have learned to appreciate nature – an incredible source of inspiration – as never before.”
Mansur Gavriel – LA Flower Market is available now, published by Libraryman.