The first time Gigi Bio showed me her work she said, “See, this is what it looks like in my head”. So what’s in her head are photos from multiple views, images of New York City’s urban landscape, herself, and those she meets in her travels. Each image layered upon each other is unique like the snowflakes that come together to blanket her adopted city in the middle of winter.
The single image formed can show anything from hard angles in architecture softened in a layered, loose, curvilinear composition or a reflection of the ever shifting energy of urban life swirling around a singular figure simply waiting for a walk signal on a street corner.
I told her my first thoughts were of cubism, specifically Marcel Duchamp’s cubist inspired “Nude Descending A Staircase No. 2” pictured left, which depicts a woman at multiple moments while in motion through still images, abstract lines and planes presented all as one image. Gigi shut down that label with the quickness!
I set out to find out what the stuff in Gigi’s head is, how it got there and what she intends to do with it next. Oh yeah, and why she doesn’t want to be called a cubist!
What is your favorite subject matter to shoot?
Anything in front of me…
What would you not shoot under any circumstances?
Anything without character, meaning or a personal connection.
What kind of gear do you use?
Mind, DSLR Camera and Mac.
Tell us how the collages you’re known for came about and why you don’t like being called a cubist!
The “Urban Reconstructionist” series was a direct reaction to the changing environment. I wanted to preserve what was lost in my own way. My work has been described as “Cubist”, which I am inspired by in many ways, in terms of angles, layers and multiple perspectives, but that is not the story behind my work. It is inspired by the streets, a world in motion – life, energy and movement.
Talk to me about your process about what you see after your photoshoots
I look for certain details that gives that place its character. I am always looking at colors, texture, angles and flow. Flow is an important element. A feeling of movement in something so still is beautiful to me. I want the viewer to have a sense of flight.
Beauty is in the process.
I observe every little detail and shoot very organically; capturing one view to the next. I dissect the world into abstract shapes in space, then I compose each piece into one composition. This process typically takes hours, days, weeks of twisting and turning 150 – 300 images until the composition flows like water.
You use architecture and building in your work a lot. Often graffiti is part of your backdrop. Why are you so attracted to graffiti? Do you think graffiti gives a building soul?
Graffiti has always been part of my artistic upbringing, mainly inspired by my brother. I am naturally drawn to a building with graffiti covering its textured walls. I am more attracted by graceful, colorful spray-painted calligraphy seen in the streets. This is often the inspiration behind the movement and angles seen in my work. Below: “Gigi Poised” by Alex Bershaw
Do you think your femininity shows in your work?
This is a good question! I have been told by many people that my work looks very masculine, not feminine. I like to describe my work as €œstrong€ rather than €œmasculine€. To me, the organic flow lines and personal narrative behind each piece shows the touch of a woman.
Do you have any advice for interested in any of the arts you are involved in?
Visualize your intention and the universe will open to you.
In Part 2 of this interview we get all in Gigi’s business and find out where all her layers actually come from as she details her early life as an artist and daughter. Click HERE for Part 2.
In the meantime for more info on Gigi Bio here’s her website gigibio.com or her Facebook page .