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GIRLZ
Carlos Santolalla

This zine is for the bad girls

One half of model power couple Jarlos, Carlos Santolalla follows up HIGH with an exploration of the 'wild, messed up' women of Los Angeles

Zine culture has had a strong revival during 2015, with more and more of us purchasing and participating in the homemade, independent industry. As Carlos Santolalla puts it, “With the rise of social media, where everyone already puts out their own content, I think zines are a way for people to market to their very own catered audience, so it's good for people to take things into their own hands. It's pretty punk.” Essentially, self publishing is a way to further our self-expression, to represent ourselves and hopefully others on our own terms.

Santolalla has just put out his second zine within the past year, a follow up to ‘HIGH’ – a photography zine that followed the lives of stoned boys in New York City. His new project moves to Los Angeles to follow girls for ‘GIRLZ’, Carlos’ latest zine. Although the difference between LA girls and NYC boys could seem like a big one, Santolalla disagrees. He said, “’HIGH’ was planned out. I cast the boys, I picked the settings. ‘GIRLZ’ came about organically. I actually don't think the subject matter is that much different from each one aside from gender - I think in both zines there's roughness and softness represented equally, which is interesting since society assigns archetypes to each gender, that none of the people featured abide by.”

Instead of casting girls intentionally for the project, this time around Santolalla let the zine grow organically from photographing “friends and friends of friends”. Featuring candid shots of Hari Nef, Paris Hilton, Andreja Pejic, Rihanna and more, the zine is a celebration of femininity, of strong women and of what contemporary womanhood means. Because, “‘GIRLZ’ aren't or don't want to always be pretty - sometimes they're wild, ugly, messed up, and fun, and that's the vibe that I was capturing with this zine. I was at all these amazing, extravagant places and parties, and the girls I was with were wilding out! They forced me to change my tune from HIGH Boys to Bad Girlz.”

These candid portraits of different types of women are a diverse and important representation of the reality of being a woman. It’s an inherent glamour that isn’t captured in beauty shots or high production shoots, but just through living life as a girl.

Pick up a copy of GIRLZ here