Woman Crush Wednesday: AnaHell
Interview by Margaret Warburton
What was inspiration for Secret Friends, and what motivated you to keep it going?
Secret Friends came about during another shooting where I was photographing a model in surreal body position. At some point she got into a resting pose, bending over and her back was exposed and I just visualized a face on her back and this new character became apparent. I told her to hold still and I ran and got an eyeliner and painted two circles on her back and that's how the first Secret Friend was born. I find that most of my best ideas come about in a very spontaneous way and many times they occur while I'm working on something else. Secret Friends is such a fun project because each time I shoot it I get to see someone transform into an entirely new creature right before my eyes. Shooting it in different cities around the world is definetely one of the biggest motivations to continue with the project.
On average, how long can your models hold those contorted poses?
It really depends on the model. My best models can probably hold it for around 10-15 minutes but I usually shoot a lot faster than that - ninja style.
Where were some of the locations you traveled in order to create Secret Friends?
So far, I've shot Secret Friends in 12 cities around the world. Some of the highlights for me are Berlin, Cuba (La Habana, Pinar del Rio & Cienfuegos), Tokyo and Mallorca.
Does location have an effect on the adventures of your characters?
I'd like to take them to a couple more continents since I try to photograph locals (wearing their own clothes) in their own homes or favourite city hangouts to also tell a story about a city and its inhabitants. Each shot is composed on the spot and I create the scene and character based on each location and the person I'm shooting so I usually don't have anything specific in mind beforehand - I find that this way of working always makes it more exciting and challenging and also allows more room to experiment and play around with new ideas as they come up.
What is the most important thing/experience that you’ve taken away from creating “Secret Friends?”
One of the things that I enjoyed the most is that this project works as a great ice-breaker to meet new people each time I travel to a city that I haven't been to before.
Describe your creative process in one word.
If you could teach a one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
The art of absurdity
What is the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
I don't have time to watch a lot of movies or read too much these days, but I recently watched a snippet of Fellini's Roma (Vatican fashion show) which was one of the most surreal things I've seen in a while. Hopefully soon I'll have enough time to watch the new Twin Peaks series.
What song do you play the most in your music library?
Recently I've been listening to Phase Fatale a lot and the track Rot is usually the first to come on. But I'm also quite obsessed with Philip Glass and I love a good dose of metal in the morning.
How do you take your coffee?