It’s often been said that mathematicians do their best work when they’re young, philosophers when old, and photographers…? Lena Mirisola’s does what most talented young creatives do – explore and blur the boundaries of art and life. There’s plenty of learning that comes with “Experience”, but as we get older, life can become more compartmentalised, the lines drawn by different commitments and responsibilities. The creative fearlessness of youth is due to a willingness to explore and extend boundaries, which is one of the drivers of Mirisola’s talent. As she says, “My commercial work is a true extension of my personal work. My Young Wild & Free series was all shot for myself. They all went into my book to show to advertising agencies, but I didn’t shoot ‘for my book’ or ’shoot for stock’” It’s what gives the images such character and warmth.
We asked her about the one lesson she took from college and it turns out that that she is her second year studying photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Art. Her work is is a great vehicle to explore our current theme of the ‘Local’, and if the photography feels very immediate, it’s partly because Mirisola’s models are people that she knows.
This sense of the local, the immediate, is partly due to to how she captures her models/friends interacting with the space and may be due to the sense of freedom imported from her experience of regularly shooting on film. She describes the thrill of film, compared to digital, is that you are not in control and yet her digital work still feels loose, relaxed, open.
So is photography an art of the young? Or the old? As writer Geoff Dyer has aid, photography has always been the art of abundance. And most of all for the viewer, photography has always been an art of surprise, of seeing yourself captured in a moment in time, from the landmarks of the family photo to the improvised performance of the selfie. Mirisola’s eye is a young take on the art of surprise.
Today, standing in the always long sandwich line in the cafeteria, I received a wonderful email. I read it with a gigantic smile beaming on my face while everyone waiting for their footlongs gave me odd looks.
My interview and feature for ImageSource is LIVE!
I was so humbled when I was approached to do this, and even more excited when I got the list of questions. I love what the did with the article... they chose most the photos, not me! They're perfect.
Check out the rest of the interview HERE! And the biggest heartfelt thank you to all my amazing models and friends. Seriously, this one's on you guys.