*Getting to Know You - Valya

Valya - 081710
In honor of my diptych getting into a local show, I want to honor the model I worked with to create the right half of that piece, Valya.  This is a re-post from an interview with her last year.  It was originally posted in my old blog.

There are moments in art when everything aligns for perfection.  I started looking for models to work with a month before going to New York in June.  One found me, Moon ( a perfect moment of serendipity), the other I found, Valya.  Finding Valya was a perfect alignment of  working hard to find the perfect model and finding a wonderful woman who was quintessential to the session's success.

I spent hours going through One Model Place, Craigslist, and Model Mayhem looking for models.  In my head I had a feeling for what I wanted and I hoped I would find it before getting to New York.  After looking at hundreds of portfolios I saw the small thumbnail for Valya and knew instantly, that is her.  I went through her portfolio and my initial gut reaction was right.  I had to reach out and ask if she would work with me.

Valya is an artistic and erotic force to work with.  She exudes the attitude, look, and emotion I wanted to capture of and in that great city.  She is the perfect person to work with when creating art.   As she wrote in her Model Mayhem profile:
I am an art, erotic and occasionally a fetish model, or as I like to think of it, a performance artist, based in NYC and available domestically in the US.
I am also a fancy free and open-minded woman, passionate about making fine and erotic art (and blogging about it too)
Valya writes a great blog which was another reason I wanted to work with her.  Much of her work has a raw force to it.  She lets her images speak for themselves and offers minimal, but important written commentary, opinions and thoughts.  I appreciate her conservation of words and only adding as much as is needed.

I am excited to bring back a feature from my old blog called the "Getting to Know You" interview where I present someone I find who is important to art, creativity, writing, photography, and life in general, using the Proust questionnaire.

Valya is the first person I thought of to share her responses for two reasons.  She is an amazing artist, model, friend, and person that I deeply respect and appreciate.  For all these reasons and many more, I am honored to share her answers to these questions.

1. What is your favorite word? Russian word for porcupine, it sounds so cute: yozhik
2. What is your least favorite word? "Dirtbag", ew right?
3. What turns you on? Bizarre things, Freud would have a ball with me
4. What turns you off? Insincerity
5. What sound or noise do you love? Rain drops against a window
6. What sound or noise do you hate? Angry voices including when it is my own
7. What is your favorite curse word? Motherfucker
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I was and technically still am a fashion stylist (on hiatus while I get undressed for the camera), but when I was in school I had full intentions on becoming a psychotherapist, an analyst more precisely.
9. What profession would you not like to do? Physical labor
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "Ask me anything!"
11. What is your idea of perfect happiness? It's found in moments and is so fleeting, kind of the way Spalding Grey discussed "the perfect moment" in his monologue film "Swimming to Cambodia".
12. What is your greatest fear? The inevitable despair my children are bound to suffer from time to time through their lives.
13. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Maybe Mata Hari? I'm not sure.
14. Which living person do you most admire? Bjork, a genius.
15. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I am SUCH a procrastinator.
16. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty
17. What is your greatest extravagance? I'm afraid I'm not quite there!
18. On what occasion do you lie? To potentially save feelings or when I'm too cowardly.
19. What do you dislike most about your appearance? Oddly, it's the thing I often like most and that's my ethnic look.
20. When and where were you happiest? Please see # 11
21. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?  To be more practical...but then I wouldn't be me- at all.
22. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? That I had a real one.
23. What do you consider your greatest achievement? My 2 kids definitely, its not that making them was difficult ;), but raising them alone after getting divorced when they were just a little over 1 year and the other 3 months old, that was/is hard. And I like who they are as people, I like to think I have something to do with that :)
24. If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be? Someone privileged and with a heart of an artist.
25. What is your most treasured possession? My childhood photos.
26. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Unrequited love
27. Who are your heroes in real life? Strangers who say "bless you" to other strangers when someone sneezes.
28. How would you like to die? I am afraid to die, if I knew I was dying, I would prefer to take my own life. I wouldn't do it gory style, I would just OD on a boat load of feel good drugs. 
29. What is your motto"Its just the atmospheric pressure"

Thank you Valya.  I hope our paths cross again.

*I will publish reruns of some of my old posts I feel are contemporary, good and worth rereading. 


1 comment:

  1. Karl, I believe you have found Your Muse! And kudos to Valya for her conclusion that modeling is a performance art!!! This is good stuff.


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