MAMM: Emmie America: Crazy Is Immediate


As a member of Fashion and Style in Photography 2021′ festival and ‘Rodchenko Art School at MAMM‘program, the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow present “ The madman is immediate ”, an exhibition of Emmie America.

Emmie America was born in 1996. Her life and work are based between Moscow, Paris and London. She has photographed for prestigious magazines such as “Vogue”, “Numéro”, “L’Officiel” and “The Blueprint”, as well as for major brands such as Calvin Klein, Nike, UGG, Urban Outfitters and many more. ‘other. Emmie America teaches at Rodchenko Art School.

A recognizable style and extraordinary approach to fashion photos have made Emmy one of the most sought-after modern photographers. His images blur the line between commercial and artistic photography, and each ad campaign becomes a self-sufficient short story with its own carefully crafted aesthetic and plot.

In early childhood, Emmie America was given a disposable Kodak camera as a gift – it was then, according to the photographer, that she first felt “ the power of the camera, ” which has the the ability to ‘completely overwhelm you and take you beyond the limits of reality’. At the age of ten, Emmie went to study in the United Kingdom. Photography and drawing lessons helped her get used to life in a foreign country. At this time, her pseudonym appeared: her classmates had difficulty pronouncing a Russian name, and she quickly went by the Internet nickname Emmie America.

Emmie started taking her first fashion photos at the age of 13, at 15 she won a scholarship to one of the top schools in the United States and at 17 she started a bachelor’s degree in photography. at the renowned Parsons School of Design while simultaneously studying in the Faculty of Culture and Media at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts. In college, she became engrossed in the theory of photography and realized the uniqueness of this art form. “Photography inspires confidence,” says the artist. “We tend to believe photos, even when we know they are staged. Photography allowed Emmie not only to combine her interest in fashion and painting, but also to turn fictional worlds into reality.

Emmie America has been heavily influenced by photographers like Bruce Davidson, Larry Clark, and Nan Goldin, who have focused on representatives of young subcultures, outsiders, and the marginalized. Emmie admits that fashion photography has never been her main source of inspiration. However, this genre allows the creation of brilliant extravagances, where clothes and accessories are not protagonists and only complement the images of the subjects depicted and reveal their character. According to the photographer, fashion has always interested her, mainly as a means of self-presentation and communication.

In 2018, the magazine Numéro Russia presented the photo series “24/7” and “Live Happily Ever After”. This post immediately drew great attention to the young author, and Emmie America was bombarded with photo commissions.

The “24/7” series pays homage to American artist Carrie Mae Weems and her famous photographic project “The Kitchen Table Series” (1990) on the family life of a contemporary African American woman. Emmie America refers to Weems’ compositional setup – in her frames all events and experiences unfold in the same way around the kitchen table and compile a mosaic of everyday life, behind which lie loneliness and complex character relationships. The image of a house inhabited by eccentric personalities – whether bohemian rebels in decadent interiors or crazed aristocrats – provides the key to Emmie’s work.

In search of references for her fashion shoots, Emmie America often turns to the history of modern photography, rethinking it in the context of the present and of her own identity formed under the influence of several cultures. A series of shots taken on the beach refer to the work of remarkable British photographer Martin Parr, as well as images by Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra in the “ Beach Portraits ” series, depicting teenagers on the verge of adulthood . Emmie’s take on her characters is both benevolent and ironic.

Emmie America’s visual language is influenced by cinema. On a shoot, she acts as a director and producer. She rarely uses flash for lighting and illuminates not only the characters but also the entire scene, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the cinema.

As principal, Emmie only shoots on film, usually in medium format, and she prepares plenty of storyboards for each project. After explaining her concept in detail to the models, she lets them decide for themselves how to “live” in this invented world. His staged projects thus acquire a “documentary” dimension which reduces the distance between fiction and reality.

With this exhibition at MAMM, charismatic and workaholic Emmie America, now 25, sums up a particular stage in her work. Today, the artist’s attention is increasingly turned to social documentary photography, performative art and experiments with various media. “It’s very easy to comply with demand and get stuck in one style. The important thing is to keep growing, ”says Emmie.

Curator: Maria Lavrova

Emmie America: Crazy Is Immediate

April 27, 2021 – June 20, 2021

Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow

Ostozhenka, 16 years old – Moscow, Russia


About Julius Southworth

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