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Meet Alyssa Aparicio and Erik “Talltree” Butts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Aparicio and Erik “Talltree” Butts.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My creative endeavors stem from a fierce love of provocation and a strong lust for life. In rebellion against 14 years of Catholic School in the Bronx, I’ve invested myself in cultivating freedom for the feminine on a personal and global level. A performer by nature, I’ve been a dancer since birth and began to work as a model from age 14. I longed to embrace my body, celebrate my sensual/sexual nature and to feel what it was like to be free. I thought modeling was the creative vehicle that would grant me that. But I soon became weary of waiting to be validated and being a prop in someone else’s vision. After graduating from Vassar College, I moved to LA in pursuit of the sun, opportunities as a dancer and in love with the overflowing creativity that pours forth from this city.

I met Erik “Talltree” Butts in Hollywood, where I was working with painter Bill Mather at a Do Lab event. Talltree’s visual art blew me away. We immediately hit it off and our shared thirst for creativity and adventure soon intertwined us in love. One random Thursday we convinced a group of friends to drive at midnight to Amboy Crater (near Joshua Tree) to view a comet. As majestic colors began to indicate sunrise, I turned to him and said with a chuckle, “can you take a picture of me while I flash the abyss?” I had a penchant for flashing landscapes when I felt overjoyed- it was my favorite rebellious habit since high school.

Flash forward a month or two and we were road tripping cross- country together. Somewhere along the trip I remember saying, “Let’s make a series of me flashing abysses along the way!” And that’s how Flash the Abyss was born over 4 years ago. We’ve traveled the world creating photos and videos together ever since.

Please tell us about your art.
Our tagline is: ‘A photographic journey dedicated to removing boundaries between woman and… Whatever she chooses.’ It’s an “F you” to the shame, guilt, and fear around the female body and her inherent sexuality. It’s a celebration of the body, embodiment of freedom and a relationship with nature.

Our message is about inspiring and empowering the feminine, celebrating the Earth, and choosing to free oneself from the shackles of dogma and other manmade restriction. It is also created via the soulful relationship of shared values between Talltree and I in conscious creation and adventure.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
I think success as an artist lives in your level of conviction to making art for art’s sake. It thrives in your ability to share your voice, authenticity and honesty with yourself first and foremost. Art is a tool of liberation and giving yourself permission to express from the depths of your soul will always be most satisfying-everything else is secondary.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
We share our latest creations via Instagram @flash_the_abyss. We also sell prints via Etsy. 100% of proceeds from our prints get donated to causes in alignment with our message. We are constantly looking for opportunities to collaborate with conscious brands of all kinds and share our work in live galleries and via publications.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
This is a collaboration between Alyssa Aparicio @sensual_radiance and Erik “Talltree” Butts @talltreeoflight

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