Glovebox Film Festival

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An interview with artist Amber Hakim by Brandon Aguiar

Glovebox intern, Brandon Aguiar takes to the Beantown streets to hit up some real artists, check out his interview with Amber Hakim!

BA: I know you're in school at the Art Institute of Boston to be a photographer, but you once said to me that you like to work in multiple mediums. Can you elaborate on what mediums you prefer and why?

AH: Sure thing, I originally went to school for Printmaking, which was my first love. I used to paint and draw a lot but my attention now-a-days in more on photo for school reasons. I like to consider myself under the label of "artist" rather than strictly "photographer" because I still work with other mediums. Before the semester started up I was getting back into drawing. Right now I'm really into this play on women and mother nature, juxtaposed with the satanic rituals associated with the nude female image and the idea of  nature as satan's "church," which was influenced from Lars von Trier's movie Antichrist.  Speaking of nude every other art school student, I love nudity and I focused on the nude female, or rather scantily clad female form for a while. I curated a small student show last year with a few peers that was heavily based around those ideas and I did a lot of small sculptural pieces using animal bones and found objects with nature elements. I also carry those ideas in my current printmaking. I'm really into intaglio and etching. I love the physical work that goes into printmaking. I love getting my hands dirty. Seriously, I love ink covered hands and the smell of metal on my fingers. Is that weird?

BA:  I don't really think that's weird, I love the look of an artist.
BA: Now, getting back to photography - I understand that you work with in both "snap shot" photography and your fine art work....what about both do you find interesting?  

AH: Yeah, there's kind of two sides to my photography. I'm really into the snap shot asthetic and the freedom of on the go 35mm shooting. I like catching these moments of my life and documenting the people around me. I was really hooked on shooting my friends all the time and just the stuff we did when we hung out, just screwin' around. Sort of like Nan Goldin way less intense and more humerous. It  was a way to document my life and a way to reminisce. On the other side I do more conceptual work. I like being able to challenge myself with this side of my photography and work more with symbolism, double exposure and what not. I like working out more complicated ideas. Its therapeutic and and rewarding to create images that I can really connect with one a deeper level. One common thing that ties both sides of my work styles together is that I deal with people and relationships or identity. I'm working on a project right now about my relationship with my parents and growing up in a religious household. So I'm shooting still in the documentary style but I'm also combining my conceptual style by overlaying symbolic arabic text, kind of like Shirin Neshat and Lalla Essaydi were doing but I'm not trying to be political with it. Oh! and I also shoot film for the most part I hardly do digital but sometimes its nice to just shoot and not worry about film.

BA: Who are some of the artists you find inspiration from? 

AHI've been hooked on Ryan Mcginley for a while now. He's definitely a big influence on my snap shot style work.  and Nan Goldin is sick too. Richard Billigham is another favorite of mine. Um, aside from those I love Francesca Woodman  and Sally Mann, Diane Arbus, Annie Liebovitz and Wolfgang Tilmans and pretty much every featured photographer on haha.

BA: You have done some of your work with Urban, can you explain that in more detail?  You have also mentioned in conversation that you would some day like to run your own gallery. How did those plans come about and what are some of your goals for your gallery?

AH: Well basically I started up a Society6 profile which is a place for artist to show and sell work. They print it on canvas or t-shirts or even iphone skins. Urban is an affiliate of Society6  and they search for artists to sell in their Urban Print shop online. So I have a photo that was chosen and sells in their online store and its going pretty well. I love what Society6 does to help out artists just starting out. Its definitely a way to acquire affordable art which is hard now a days. My ultimate dream is to run my own gallery. I just love the idea of being able to help out other artists get there work out there. I worked for a gallery for a year in Beverly and now volunteer at the Fourth wall  and I just love the atmosphere of working in a gallery. I Thought about it being a little cafe type gallery which would be good for keeping the business afloat but these are pricy future plans I've got. Someday though I feel it could happen with the right planning. I want it to be a a space for young artists to have a chance to show their work cause its hard when you're young! But, yeah owning a gallery would be a dream come true. I just like the idea of surrounding myself with art  and making its my life which isn't far from the truth now but I just hope for the day when I don't need to work a shitty retail job.

check out her stuff here and here

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