Friday, March 29, 2013

RAD TALK: An Interview With Photographer Dolly Faibyshev

"Rad Talk" is a new column running on The Emma Edition, for 2013. In this column I interview creative people who make my life all the more rad and whose work I think deserves a wider audience. I’ll be giving them a forum to speak on things they may never been asked in a typical interview. Today I am featuring the photography of Dolly Faibyshev, whose work I stumbled upon while meandering in the Chelsea Market. From the second I spotted this cactus mailbox, I knew I had to speak with her. A new interview is posted on Fridays. 

Q: Hey Dolly, can you tell my readers a bit about yourself?
A: “I got started in photography several years ago. I was always searching for a creative outlet while my career was going in the opposite direction, so I picked up a camera and taught myself how to take pictures."

Q: What or who is your ideal subject?
A: “I like weird and over-the-top. I like working in deserted places or crowds where people don’t notice me noticing them.”

Q: Your photos are great storytellers of color. What do you like about using color as a guiding medium?
A: “Thanks! I like using color because that’s the first thing I usually see when I’m taking pictures, and maybe it’s the first thing others see when they look at them. I think it can be used as a diversion from what’s actually happening too - I like creating that surprise you sometimes get from art.”

Q: Setting plays a huge part in your photographs. You often cut off the subject’s body, making them just as important as the background. Can you describe this?
A: “I’m just not interested in taking portraits. Identifiable faces make a photo feel less timeless for me. I’m more interested in environments and how people fit into them, or don’t.”

Q: Particularly in your ongoing first series, you focus a lot on Palm Springs. What fascinates you about that place in particular? Do you live there now?
A: “I’ve lived in New York for years, and I’m an east coaster but I just don’t think there’s any other place like it. It’s like stepping into the past, a time warp where many of the homes and surrounding architecture have been preserved (especially the exteriors) since the 1950s. Sometimes it feels like everything is changing around us so fast, it feels good to go to a place that hasn’t changed much at all. There’s something a little unsettling about that for me too.”

Q: How did you gain access to the homes in the photographs?
A: “For the most part I was focusing on exteriors, so access was pretty simple. The crazy thing is that quite a few people ended up inviting me in for a tour of their homes anyway, which I’m not used to in New York.”

Q: What setting do you think best encapsulates America? For me, I think it would be diners.
A: “The diner is an excellent choice. I love diners. I don’t think I can top that.”

What is your favorite American meal?
A: “Great question. I used to eat hot dogs galore as a kid, but now it’s fried chicken and apple pie.”

All images in this post courtesy of Dolly Faibyshev Photography
Q: All of your photos are extremely saturated, but there’s always an underbelly of isolationism emanating within them. Is this something you’re conscious of or try to achieve?
A: “I’m always conscious of color, but I don’t set out looking for isolationism - it just finds me I guess.”
To learn more about Dolly's work, click here
Follow me on Twitter @emmaedition


  1. wow her photos are incredible. the cactus mailbox is perfect and all the colours wow!!!!!

  2. it's always interesting to learn about an artist's creative process especially as elements surface in a finished product that are a result of intention (color), and that which is not (isolation). Dolly's pictures definitely captures "Americana" and i love it. so cool. thanks for sharing! xx


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