The new photographer invested in Japanese flower-cutting, extraordinary textures and skinny dipping
Inspired by the Japanese art of cut flowers, ‘ikebana’, Ana Kras is documenting intimacy in ‘an arrangement of cut moments’. She decided to partition her photographs under this old nickname a while back: feeling their diary-like aspect needed some isolation. A bit of categorising is key when you’re not just a photographer but also a product designer and illustrator: and with commissions from the likes of Masion Martin Margiela and exhibitions worldwide, it's not going badly for her either. Kras was born and grew up in Serbia, surrounded by unrest. This background seems to have nourished a love for the simple life: good food, love and hard work, all of which comes through clearly in her images. She’s recently traded in the palm trees of L.A. for a tall windowed studio in lower-east side NYC. Here we get an exclusive look at some of her personal photographs, old and new, looking back at Californian clichés.
Dazed Digital: What are the best things about LA and Serbia for you?
Ana Kras: What I loved the most were the thin tall palm trees and all the plants brought there and planted to make that dessert look like a Garden of Eden: Jasmin bushes, houses and hills with views and the lukewarm weather. I loved driving down the Baxter Street, it’s so steep, like a rollercoaster. The other thing I loved was eating pho at the pho cafe on sunset. My favourite things in Belgrade are my family, my friends and the fact I have some emotional attachment with every single street there. I also love that the average tomato there tastes better than any organic fancy one in America. Beautiful food there is available for everyone; it's not a luxury. I think Serbian milk and yogurt are the best in the world.
DD: Who are your favourite photographers and why?
Ana Kras: 'Your favourite' questions are the hardest ones for me. I don't have favourites; I like so many photographers in so many different ways. Some of my favourite images are stills from Antonioni's movies. My friend Sylvain Emmanuel P is an architect but some of my favourite images are by him. He captures the most beautiful empty moments. I’ve been working on a project called ‘ping pong’ with him for about 5 years. I love my friend Quentin de Briey's) spontaneous portraits and Marija Strajnic's melting close ups. Also Katarina Soskic's dead, frozen portraits are stunning.
DD: What would be your advice to other people who feel they have give up some of the things they love?
Ana Kras: The only reason to give something up is if it doesn't make you happy to do it. I don't think focusing on one thing gives better results at all because too much of a focus makes you blind to many things. The wider the interests are, there are more chances for an interesting mix to happen.
DD: Have you got any exhibitions coming up?
Ana Kras: There is a group show in LA in March called ‘The Sacred Door’ and I will have a solo show in New York soon too.