Today we’d like to introduce you to Saskia Kivilo.
Saskia, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in LA in a very artistic family. My mom was always throwing art projects in front of my sister and I, and my dad always had cameras around that I would play with. And I’m really thankful for that because the school I went to for most of my life was very academic and had no focus on art education, so I had to seek that out on my own. I took painting lessons at Barnsdall Art Center and photo classes at Pasadena Art Center on the weekends. Those classes opened my eyes to a whole new world and made me realize that photography was something I was interested in pursuing further than just making my friends pose for me at sleepovers. After high school, I went to study Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where I continued exploring my voice and what and how I was interested in photographing. And now I’m still doing that – trying to keep pushing myself and keep developing as an artist.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Since about middle school, I have had a camera on me everywhere I go. Like most people, I have always been interested in capturing memories and people in honest moments. So part of my work is definitely a bit documentarian. But then over time as I developed my shooting style, my work became much more ethereal. I have danced for most of my life, and something clicked when I began shooting dance. Now my work focuses primarily on the connection between emotion and movement. I am interested in visually translating what being in motion feels like, placing the subject in an abstract space. This has mainly been through dance, but recently I have been trying to bring the same ideas to fashion and skateboard photography. Everybody can see what’s right in front of us, and reality can be boring, so I try to create abstractions and bring the viewer into a dreamlike world. I that hope when people see my work, it stirs up a memory of a feeling.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Like anything, there are definitely two sides to this. I think that with the internet and technology these days, it is definitely easier to get your work out there and have a wider audience. But with those things has also come an oversaturated market, and it is easy to get lost in a sea of artists or be easily swayed by trends. Although I think that if you actively check in with yourself, stay true to your voice and keep creating work that is honest to you, there is room for everyone. LA is such a great place to be as an artist because there are so many of us here. Everyone is always working on some project and the collaborations and community you can find in that are amazing. Rather than competition, I have found incredible support in the other artists around me. Everyone is just trying to keep making things that are important to them, and to be able to help and support each other in that is awesome.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work can be seen on my website at www.saskiakivilo.com or my Instagram @saskiakivilo. My friend and fellow artist, Dani Scaringe, and I also started producing a – hopefully – annual group art show, Beer Money, aiming to bring together and showcase young artists of different disciplines. So you can also keep your eyes out on @_beermoney_ for the next show, and how to support that. Prints and the book from the last show can still be purchased at beermoneyartshow.bigcartel.com.