Gritty Eastern European landscapes, communist memorabilia and plenty of pop symbolism are just a few motifs permeating the work of Anna Bloda. The Warsaw-based artist claims to be inspired by youth and innocence, but there’s no denying there is a sense of voyeurism to her portraits, which provokes comparison to other erotica-inspired photographers – most notably Jan Saudek or Richard Kern.
Dazed Digital: What's...
...your work all about?
Anna Bloda: Meditation and contemplation of beauty.
DD: …The one photograph you wish you’d created?
Anna Bloda: A portrait of Madonna.
DD: …the most important thing for an artist to remember?
Anna Bloda: That it’s ok to be clueless sometimes. Over the years, I’ve learnt that a lack of clues can often lead way to something extraordinary! I think photography is quite a magical process. I love the fact that I often don’t know what’s going to be the final income. Spontaneity, technicality are all very important here. But most important of them all is taking risks and sticking to your own voice.
DD: …the most inspiring thing you’ve ever done?
Anna Bloda: Meeting Terry Richardson in New York’s Washington Square.
DD: …the cleverest thing you’ve ever done?
Anna Bloda: Taking a risk.
DD: …the stupid thing you’ve ever done?
Anna Bloda: Getting advice from my mom.
DD: …what’s the point?
Anna Bloda: To look inside yourself.
DD: Describe what beauty means to you?
Anna Bloda: Beauty is mystery. It also has an ability to touch others.
DD: What is it about Eastern Europe that inspires you so much?
Anna Bloda: Nothing inspires me as much as the innocence that I find in Eastern Europe. Perhaps it’s because I lost it at some point myself? I’m really attracted to girls, who possess some kind of purity. I’m not a lesbian, so the only way I can work with that
attraction is by taking photos of them.
DD: What equipment/film do you use? What do you like about what you use?
Anna Bloda: I think it’s the human eye that creates a picture. Lamps, flashes and digital cameras are only there to help us modify the image and achieve the best version of what we’re aiming for. I currently use a Nikon D200, but I’m secretly dreaming of the new soft lens from Carl Zeiss…
DD: Who are your influences – art/film/literature/other photographers?
Anna Bloda: Literature is very important to me. I love anything by Phillp K. Dick – basically anything that uncovers the unconscious and stimulates my mind. I think I’m generally addicted to the so-called mental shocks, which is why art, cinema and anything that expends my horizons play such a huge role in my life.
DD: Are you exhibiting anywhere soon?
Anna Bloda: Yes, I have two shows coming up. The first one is a series of portraits that I took over my stay in New York. ‘Persona’, which is the second one, will concentrate on some of the most interesting people living in today’s Warsaw. Mainly artists I would say.
DD: Do you have a website or blog?
Anna Bloda: Check out www.annabloda.com and www.annabloda.ownlog.com.
Anna Bloda’s ‘NYC’ is currently running at Galeria SYF, ul. Mokotowska 73 m 5, Warsaw, Poland.