14 Jan Featured: Kristin-Lee Moolman Captures “Things Other Than Beauty”
In some ways, the photographs of Kristin-Lee Moolman highlight the overwhelming plasticity of our world. There is a table/umbrella combo that belongs outside a beachside café but, for reasons unknown to us, sits lonely and proud in the middle of what looks to be a shopping mall. There’s a slightly NSFW mannequin, who wears a bra strap as a blindfold. There are plastic flowers, spare motorbike parts and clusters of blue shopping carts. Scenes like these are sharply contrasted with images of nature: lush green trees, rock formations, reflections in bodies of water. And then we have the portraits – jarring, flash-lit and washed out, all very surreal. This eclectic combination of things seen and experienced are collected by Kristin-Lee on her tumblr, Pizza Chicken. Curious, we caught up with her to find out more.
Did you grow up in a creative environment, or one where creativitiy was actively encouraged?
I didn’t grow up in a creative environment, but my family has always been supportive and encouraging.
Tell us a bit more about your journey so far – when did you decide to pursue a career in photography, and how have you gone about doing so?
I didn’t really want to be a photographer. Initially I studied art, then majored in photography, after which I assisted for a short while before I started shooting myself.
How would you describe your style or aesthetic, and how has this developed since you first started out?
God, I don’t know, I feel like I’m only figuring that out now.
What are you influenced and inspired by?
People, faces and cowboys.
Your tumblr, Pizza Chicken, is a collection of bizarre and striking moments – even the ordinary-seeming images reveal themselves as strange after closer inspection. What draws you to capturing these sorts of sights?
I’m interested in things other than beauty.
What camera(s) do you use to take these pictures?
My trusty Canon 5D.
Is the way you shoot personal work very different to the way you approach commercial projects?
Yes and no, it depends on the commission.
Do you plan to do anything else with the photographs that make up Pizza Chicken at some stage, or are you happy for them to exist purely on the tumblr account?
Pizza Chicken is more for journaling and research but I may publish a zine or book depending on how it continues.
In what ways has the act of taking photographs changed the way you look at or think about things?
I guess it’s helped me to re order my mind, to explore concepts and cultures that I wouldn’t ordinarily pursue.
How did your colab with Art Comes First originally come about? Tell us more about it, and what the process entails.
I met Sam Lambert while shooting the cover of GQ with Ozwald Boateng, and I asked to do portraits of him after. We reconnected when I was living in New York and started bouncing the idea of doing a book around. Since then we have been shooting together in a few different countries, collecting material for the book and collaborating on portrait commissions. The final book is a photo book but that’s all I can say for now.
Is there a particular image you’ve taken that stands out as a personal favourite? Or one that has a memorable story behind it?
The one on the cover of the book I’m making with Art Comes First. It was how I met the Wanda and Kabelo from the Sartists and I guess set the tone for my ongoing collaboration with Sam and Shaka of ACF. They’re all very special people to me.
What are you currently looking at, listening to, reading and/or watching?
I’m looking at American Gothic painting, listening to Mobb Deep and watching Takashi Miike.
What else are you working on at the moment, and what are your plans going forward?
Other than finishing the book with ACF I’m in the process of exploring sculpture as a medium and toying with the idea of doing my masters…who knows though, things can change in an instant.