Jesse Walker is a guy who likes to push boundaries, and he's certainly done that with ENKI.
He is an artist with a rebellious spirit who knows no limits and whose work rejects conventional notions about aesthetics. He works in a style that is as unique and edgy as he is, and his sense of rebellion can be felt in every aspect of the ENKI brand. He has made a name for himself internationally by creating campaigns that push audiences beyond the ordinary. His unique approach makes him stand out in an increasingly saturated market.
A mysterious man with a force behind him, he is a designer, traveller, businessman, and photographer who has created something that is much more than just a sunglasses brand. Known for his fearless approach, Jesse Walker is the founder and visionary behind ENKI, a company he started in Sydney, Australia, in 2011, after being inspired to create something different in the eyewear market.
Despite having no formal training as a photographer, he's created some of the world's most visually arresting and boundary-pushing art. He is the mastermind behind some of history's most unique and controversial photos. In 2013, he travelled to Africa to direct his first campaign for ENKI, which captured the continent's spirit with the Mursi tribe. The second, in 2015, took him to India, where he led a groundbreaking campaign with the Kalbelia tribe that challenged traditional ideas about beauty.
In 2016, Walker met Marisa Papen, a Belgian nude model and self-proclaimed "free-spirit." The two had creative and personal chemistry and soon began collaborating on projects. Walker's work with Papen has been some of his most successful to date. Some of their most infamous pieces include a series of photographs featuring her nude and covered in fake blood, and a shoot in which Papen posed naked at the Great Pyramid of Giza - an act which outraged officials and made global headlines. Both artists have faced criticism for their work; Walker has been accused of exploiting his subjects, and Papen has been denounced as a "pornographic" model.
In 2017 the duo made headlines again when they staged a nude photoshoot in Turkey. The shoot was eventually shut down by authorities, but not before Walker and Papen had made their mark, adding to their notoriety. In 2018, the world was again shocked by the antics of the Walker and Papen. This time, they were arrested in Italy for shooting nude in front of the Vatican. While some people applauded them for their boldness, others were outraged by their actions. Walker frequently cites Papen as his muse and has said that she is "the perfect embodiment of art." Today, their images continue to shock and titillate viewers around the world.
For Walker, no destination is too remote or too dangerous. In 2019, he travelled through Niger to find the nomadic blue people known as the Tuareg tribe. The journey took him days through the Sahara, and the resulting photos are some of his most beautiful work to date. Despite the no travel warning, Walker found the Tuareg and documented their unique way of life. "I'm drawn to places that offer a sense of mystery and adventure," he says. "When I learned about the Tuareg tribe, I knew I had to see them myself." Through these photos, Walker hopes to share the remarkable story of the Tuareg and inspire others to explore the world for themselves.
Walker's work often challenges traditional ideas about beauty and sexuality, forcing viewers to question their own preconceptions. He says, "I get great enjoyment out of shaking people up, provoking and challenging their perceptions." This approach has led to some controversy, but it has also earned Walker a loyal following of fans who appreciate his willingness to push boundaries. In an age where so much art is safe and predictable, Walker's work provides a refreshing dose of unpredictability and provocation.