Berlin, October 2017. Photography by Larry Fink - © Jil Sander

Larry, when you are shooting women nowadays, what are you looking for? And how has your perception of women changed over the years?
When I look at women – and I have always had this in terms of photographing – I have always felt that they are the deepest of our species. That their intuitiveness, their sense of balance, their emotionality is in effect more honestly balanced than the male emotions, which are often cerebral and triumphal. I have always felt that roundness of the world through the eyes of women, and I do much more so today. It is interesting though because only 10 years ago I would have looked at women’s bodies and I would get all excited [laughs]. I never would have advanced on anybody of course because I am a decent person and not involved with objectifying women. And now I just see bodies as they are, period.

Where do you think your fascination and respect for women comes from?
I grew up with my mother who was a feminist and a left-wing activist, and my sister, who has now unfortunately passed away, who was an incredibly powerful woman. She was a prisoner’s rights lawyer and worked on a lot of cases, one in particular was regarding the Attica Prison Uprising back in 1973, and she worked on that case for 28 years, pro bono. My early relationships have always been with really empowering women, and my three wives have all been really powerful! Even though I have always been a romantic in terms of falling in love with women, maybe I was harmful to some people when I didn’t intend to be; not exploitatively but foolishly perhaps, and maybe painfully because I was falling in love too quickly without appropriate boundaries.

So would you call yourself a feminist?
Absolutely, yeah. I respect women so much, to me they hold the soul of the word.

“I feel good that people feel good, I really like to give people pleasure”: In conversation with Larry Fink - © Jil Sander