Women Crush Wednesday: Natalya Nova
Natalya Nova is an award winning artist, photographer and filmmaker. Originally from Orenburg, Russia she has lived in New York City since 2005. Her work is magical, provocative and new. For her latest projects she uses a medium format Leica with classic 4x5 lenses from the 1930's and 40's to create self-portraits in which her body becomes the painted canvas. The results are electrifying. The life size works are printed on a combination of metal, light boxes and three dimensional prints.
Natalya Nova has collaborated with notable artists including Grammy award winner and art director, Ian Cuttler.
She has received awards from the LA Film Festival, and the Big Apple Film Festival among others. Her work has been exhibited at Miami Art Basel and galleries in NYC. To view more of Natalya’s work visit here.
Interview by Thomas Battistelli
Looking at your series “Party Monsters” compared to “Supernova Playroom” and “Red on Blue”, you switch from black and white photographs with a documentary photographic style to a more vibrant, abstract self-portrait style photographs. Do you find a challenge in switching styles so drastically in the beginning stages of each body of work?
I feel at home with both black and white and color. I usually have a pretty good idea of what style and direction I will take before the actual shoot. I am always open to the "lucky accidents" as well.
For Series like “Supernova Playroom” and “Red on Blue”, what made you decide to be the subject of the portraits instead of using other people as your models?
My self-portraits are a projection of my inner voice. What may seem abstract to the viewer is to me a language rooted in symbolism and allegory. I am photographing my dream self.
When I photograph models, I am interpreting what I feel to be their dreamscape. You can see some of the images and a short art film with the Russian model Polina Ivochkina herehttp://laudmagazine.com.au/project/art-supernova-playroom/ .
In your eyes, what do you think is the most important step or part of creating a series?
What I find interesting about people is their authenticity. So for me, the most important part of creating a series is honesty.
When first starting the series “Supernova Playroom” and “Red on Blue” where did you first see the series going, did the path you originally see it taking change at all? If so what were some outside influences on it?
I shot "Red on Blue" and "Supernova Playroom" as a gesture of eroticized love. At that moment everything was charged with excitement. When you are releasing this creative energy you have no idea where it will lead. I shot both projects with the Medium format Leica S and in April 2018 there will be a three month exhibition at the Leica Gallery in NYC.
What motivated you to pick up a camera for the first time, how do you feel this has changed you?
In Russia any technology generates excitement. I was 12 years old when I held my first camera. It was a little Sony and it was pure magic. From that moment I wanted to document everything.
1. How would you describe your creative process in one word?
2. If you could teach one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
3. What was the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami, La Grande Bellezza by Paolo Sorrentino.
4. What is your most played song in your music library?
"Are You Going With Me" by Pat Metheny.
5. How do you take your coffee?
With a little bit of milk and sugar.
All images © Natalya Nova