ISSUE IV CHRONICLES
Design, layout, creative direc tion, and execution by
a s h l ey j on c a s VI SU A L ARTS
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SPECIAL THANKS TO Fox and Owl Brian Ziff Minimale Animale
Sarah Allegra Elizaveta Smekh Dr. Lukas Brezak Jeffie.com
Yo u r E d i t o r - i n - C h i e f h e r e , w r i t i n g t o y o u f r o m t h e c r a m p e d l i t t l e c o r n e r o f t h e E a s t C o a s t t o b r i n g t o y o u t h e f o u r t h i s s u e o f C X I I I M a g a z i n e . W h a t ’s c r a z y t o t h i n k a b o u t i s a y e a r a g o f r o m t o d a y, w a s w h e n I decided to embark on this crazy self made publication. As artists, we strive to push ourselves over the edge and enter the unknown until we find some ounce of satisfaction in our work. Anyone in the creat i v e f i e l d w i l l t e l l y o u t h e s a m e . Yo u h a v e t o b e m a d l y i n l o v e w i t h w h a t y o u d o t o t h e p o i n t w h e r e y o u c a n’t w a k e u p w i t h o u t t h i n k i n g a b o u t i t . T h i s “ i t ” w h e t h e r i s b e s c r e e n p r i n t i n g , p h o t o g r a p h y, m a k i n g sculptures out of french fries, or designing the next generation of wedge sneakers, is everything to us. The passion and the journey from the idea to the tangible is the life cycle and momentum.
I s s u e I V i s e n t i r e l y f o c u s s e d o n t h e c e l e b r a t i o n o f t h e m i n d a n d i t ’s v i s u a l o u t c o m e s . A r t i s t s , photographers, ans designers were chosen solely based on their distinct approaches. Designers were selected because of their unique fabrication and innovative cuts. The photographers chosen were included because of their self-reflecting styles, and the editorials created by myself were direct reflect i o n s o f m y p e r s o n a l a e s t h e t i c . A l l c o m i n g t o g e t h e r b o u n d n e a t l y a s C X I I I M a g a z i n e : I s s u e I V.
Many thanks to all of my readers who are the extra boost of inspiration to keep this magazine going and t o t h e f a b u l o u s c o l l a b o r a t o r s w o r l d w i d e . Yo u a l l r o c k b e y o n d b e l i e f .
With love from the East Coast of the U. S. of A. Yo u r E d i t o r - i n - C h i e f w a r m l y w e l c o m e s y o u t o C X I I I : I s s u e I V C h r o n i c l e s o f Pe r c e p t i o n .
X X J y e l Ash
CONTENTS issue iv
8 18 24 34
44 58 70 80 88 94
I N B LO O M : B R I A N Z I F F
W H AT W E WA N T N OW
D E M E N TO R
S AVAG E LU X U RY
LO S I N G M Y R E L I G I O N
D R. LU K A S B R E Z A K
MAN BEHIND THE LENSE Where are you from and how long have you been photographer? I grew up in Los Angeles. It’s hard to say how long I’ve been a photographer, because I’ve been around it so much that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when I started. I first got into it when I was 15 and teaching people how to use Photoshop for my dad’s computer training school. I was doing retouching for other people for a while before I figured that if I can fix other photographers’ photos, I may as well be fixing my own. I’d say that I’ve been seriously taking photos for roughly seven years, but that could be completely wrong.
Does your current location influence your work at all? It’s hard to avoid the influence of the city in which one lives when it comes to photography-the landscape and texture of the place tends to get absorbed into the framework of the photos. I can’t say that Los Angeles is particularly inspiring to me in terms of its overall aesthetic, and if anything, I do what I can to depict a perspective that is atypical of my surroundings. Maybe that’s the most important influence of all. I read once that all great artists have a conflicted relationship with the place in which they grew up. Maybe if I get a lot more conflicted, I can become a great artist.
Is there a certain style of common thread running through all of your work that you would say differentiates you from other photographers? I think the fact that I began as a retoucher before ever touching a camera makes me think a little bit differently about how I approach photos. For me, the shoot itself is more or less data collection--only the first step of many before realizing the photo that I initially set out to create. I’ve never worked with film and I don’t have a romanticized notion of “capturing the moment.” I like to beat the moment into submission until it surrenders to my will. My work may be perceived as being very stiff and constructed, but that’s probably intentional. A lot of what I do in my life is a desperate attempt to achieve absolute control. I’m not very easy-going.
-Where do you get inspiration for shoots and what really stimulates you creatively? Creative stimulation for me almost always comes in the form of a different type of media. I have synaesthesia, so I hear colors and see sound. It’s almost like cheating, I suppose, but hearing music or reading words aloud renders images in my mind instantaneously. It also makes things difficult because certain colors in unison create horrible sonic dissonance for me, and I’m not a particularly flexible collaborator because things that are realistically subjective are either objectively wrong or right in my eyes. Incidentally, it’s also the reason I don’t feel like I’m a creative person. I have this perception that creative people are perpetually riding a lightning bolt of pure, unadulterated inspiration. My process feels more like answering questions that nobody asked.
-Do you use any specific equipment or editing techniques to achieve the final look of your images? When shooting, I’ll try to use things to bounce or shape light that normally wouldn’t belong at a photo shoot and try to not adhere to many rules of good photography. My retouching process is something that’s constantly in development. Lately, I’ve been very into using existing parts of the image and forming them into geometric patterns that accentuate the mood that the image is meant to convey.
-What is your favorite part about the work that you do, and what has been the most challenging aspect? I think that my favorite part about the work I do is also the most challenging, insomuch as I get to make art for a living. That also means that I either have more money than I know what to do with or I’m flat broke. Additionally, I live in a perpetual state of doubt over whether or not I’m any good at what I do. It’s as visceral as it is soul crushing. Or maybe I’m bipolar.
-Is there any other passions of your in the arts besides photography that you are involved in? Yeah, actually--music has, for most of my life, been my primary passion. I was a classical pianist and singer, and when I escaped from my parents’ house, I learned all the awesome rock band instruments that they wouldn’t let me play at home. It was only when my band Vespertine got signed to a record label and I was thrust into the process of recording a studio album that I decided to stop being a retoucher and become a photographer. I thought it would be a way to make extra money while still maintaining my own hours. Now it’s a few years on and I don’t know what my job title is, exactly. I do know that I approach both with an equal degree of maddening passion. I just don’t have a lot of free time.
-If you had to sum up your body of work in 3 words, what would they be?
Not there yet
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SARAH ALLEGRA Sarah Allegra is a Los Angeles-based fine art photographer specializing in conceptual and self-portrait imagery. A self-taught photographer, she has also indulged in other forms of artistic expression â€“ from painting to songwriting â€“ since she could first hold a crayon. Her photography is darkly ethereal, deeply symbolic and other-worldly. Drawing inspiration from music, books, fairy tales and her own personal demons, she creates visual poetry through her work.
“Yoda, the Master”
“Once Were Warriors”