Ethereal Beauty: The Blip Meets Ali King to talk about her new show: 'Queens'
Ali King is a London-based artist who creates giant, beautiful, and cinematic nude portraits that seem to exist in their own dream-like world.
The Blip went to meet Ali at home to find out a little bit about her and her work and her upcoming show, Queens which will be at 90 Picadilly, Mayfair, from 15th-20th October.
Photo: Hailey Ford
Hi Ali! Thank you for taking the time to meet The Blip!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Do you have formal Art training?
I did some formal art training in Chelsea and Kensington college, however I think most of my skill set has been learnt from assisting on sets over the years. Photography is so practical and physical I think it is important to learn by doing.
We know that you have a background in Fashion, what is your experience in the fashion industry?
Prior to studying at Chelsea I worked as a producer for fashion magazines and then worked as a studio manager in a photography studio, plus I assisted on various film and editorial sets in Dublin and London. Dublin has film studios called Ardmore, they attract Hollywood scale film crews. I learnt a lot about film lighting from the lighting department at Ardmore.
I do have a background in fashion, I worked for a high end fashion magazine for years. I had great clients like Gucci, Chanel, Tom Ford, Dior & Prada. Each day I would receive their digital images and flight check them or talk to clients about copy instructions. I also worked on set with the magazine’s editorial photographers.
After almost 4 years, I went out and freelanced as an editorial photographer. Fashion is the ultimate training ground in editorial photography, it is a tough industry full of excellent talent. I would never turn my back on fashion, however I am totally focused on art projects at the moment.
Would you say that the industry has influenced your work?
I think that my fashion background has given me a sense of focus and structure in the work.
We're excited about your upcoming show, Queens! Tell us about the theme and your style!
The show is made up of a variety of portraits of various Queens, plus on large piece called Q Garden reflecting their natural habitat and an installation film called Planet Q.
My models and flowers exist in a realm of another world, maybe a parallel universe where material clothes do not exist and botany is the fashion of choice.
The style of this current project is very feminine. I am drawn to female energy and form. When I look at a female nude, I see the same contrast of light and dark curves that exist in a flower. There is a unity in the two, a common form and aesthetic that I find hypnotic and very satisfying to watch.
There is freedom in art and I feel freedom in nature. My style is a visual representation of my own personal pleasures and happiness. It is completely self indulgent.
We adore the sleek, well-styled nature of your images. Do you have a team to assist you, or do you work alone?
I work with an excellent team; I am very specific on what I want to achieve visually. I brief my flower stylist and creative team, with a clearly laid out story board. Often the stylist I work with makes suggestions on shapes and the various plants we can use, so she has input into the vision. I also spend a lot of time in flower markets and warehouses checking out what is available season by season.
Do you work in any other mediums other than photography?
I love mixed media projects. I exhibited a show called ‘Flux’ on the Kings Rd in 2012 which was primarily mixed media. I used crystals and ink on photographic etching paper. For my ‘Queens’ show I have an installation film called ‘Planet Q’, this exists to develop a narrative and illustrate the parallel world that the Queens exist on. I think mixed media has a huge impact in story telling. It is the way of the future.
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Follow his blog, here:
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