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Vivid Still Life - Aleksandra Kingo speaks to theprintspace

8 years ago

Today theprintspace’s Harry Rose speaks to photographer Aleksandra Kingo

Aleksandra works with color and shape to create vivid still-life images. After being featured in Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize soon after leaving university, Aleksandra is a photographer whose talent is one to watch.  


Hey Aleksandra! Please introduce yourself to our readers

Hi! : - ) My name is Aleksandra Kingo, and I am a photographer in love with all things pop, quirky and ironic. I am 24, I wear silly glasses and I come from Vilnius, Lithuania, although been living in London for several years.  

What was it like being in the Taylor Wessing exhibition last year? 

Surprising and a little bit surreal at first I must say. Although ‘Yelle’ is one of my favourite images, I didn’t really expect it to get in. Firstly it was a bit different from the images I thought normally get selected. Also I was very laid back about it and submitted only one image (despite seeing fellow photographers sending two and more submissions). But most of all I was very proud and happy about it. 


Your photograph that was exhibited is very diverse in relation to the work that usually gets select for Taylor Wessing Prize, how did you feel seeing it amongst the other photographs in the room? 

As I said, I first thought it would really stand out from the rest. But then I think the way curators placed it worked really well – we had a little ‘pop culture corner’, with portraits of the Obamas and Yayoi Kusama hanging next to my image.

You recently graduated; what advice would you give to 2016 graduates who want to get their work seen in shows like Taylor Wessing? 

As simple as it is – never stop trying and keep sending your work to exhibitions, competitions and magazines. Don’t underestimate the power of social media either! And, I guess, just stick what you like creating and don’t try to fit in in any specific frame or norm. 


Still life and a strong use of color seem to play a large part of your practice. What is it about color and still life that interests you?

I love the control that still life photography provides! I pre-sketch every shot I do and work on composition carefully. But to be honest I have the same approach when photographing people – sounds a bit harsh but I often treat them more like objects, parts of mis-en-scene when on set, placing them precisely within shot and then telling them to freeze. 

As for the color, first and foremost, I like the look of them! I enjoy putting color palettes together, mixing and matching different tones. It is also a nod to pop art, I guess. 


Where do you find inspiration?

I am a social media child, so lots of inspiration comes from stuff I find online really – memes, silly tumblr posts and old gifs. Also, people around me – I love taking everyday trivia, reworking it and pushing it to the point of absurdity. 

Speaking of other artists -- Guy Bourdin and Toiletpaper! I love the way Bourdin pictures women as well as his use of color. As for Toilet paper – I guess from them I learned how far and how crazy you can push your images and still get away with it. Way to go! 

What projects are you currently working on?

I just had a baby son, who is my most important project so far, haha! I did get back to work already though, and currently preparing for several commercial shoots as well as a very exciting editorial for Hunger magazine.


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