The world is at a standstill and social distancing is part of a new norm, but studio life goes on! Braverman Gallery reached out to Anna Yam for a short conversation that offers a glimpse into the artist’s studio, work and thought process, and life under lock down.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BECOME AN ARTIST?
As a child, I remember flipping through art books and photo albums and going to art class in the Architecture school in Yekaterinburg. Growing up with doctors and engineers, art never seemed to be an option as a profession, not that it wasn’t legitimate, I just never thought of it as a possibility. I thought I’d go into design, but I felt it is limited in terms of the freedom it granted, and attending a photography department at the time seemed technocratic and cold, and I found myself applying to art school.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST FASCINATED BY THESE DAYS?
So many hidden levels of the human psyche surfaced during the time of the coronavirus. As if a collective, social subconscious burst out.
DO YOU HAVE A STUDIO ROUTINE? WHAT IS IT LIKE?
I call it the studio paradox. The harder I work to create a studio routine, I am truly at my best when I don’t keep to it.
CHOOSE AN OBJECT IN YOUR STUDIO THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU. WHAT MAKES IT MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN OTHERS?
The window. My studio is located on Allenby street in Tel Aviv, and I just love how the outside enters the inside through sounds of buses, cars honking, and people shouting. The studio to me is an emotional and physical anchor, even though as a photographer my main interest occurs outside of its walls.
WHAT ARTISTS OR ARTWORKS ARE YOU MOST INFLUENCED BY?
I often revisit the works of Diane Arbus, they captivate me every time.
WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin.
WHICH CITY WOULD YOU SAY HAS IMPACTED YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE, AND HOW?
Yekaterinburg, where I grew up until the age of twelve. Ever since, art and life have intertwined. I go there to take photos and visit my father. My father serves as an ongoing return ticket, and the camera is my shield.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU MADE IN YOUR LIFE?
Lots of minor mistakes.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL LUNCH.
I really enjoy eating, so for me it’s more about when than what, and let’s just say it’s best to stay clear of me when I’m hungry 🙂
ANY ONLINE RECOMMENDATIONS?
Dana Lev Levnat on Instagram @permanenttvacation. Dana is a friend of mine, she uploads photos every day no matter where she is or what she’s up to, for over six years. It’s as if her eye and her camera lens have become one.