There are many artists in New York. Plenty of souls with a creative purpose. Numerous beings with an urge to birth something beautiful and revered.
But in this highly active sea of conscious, Alyssa Kazew appears to be the last of a dying breed. The 20 year-old’s aura is vintage ’76 proto-punk but her appearance and mannerisms are as ’90s as an All That marathon. It seems like Kazew (pronounced Kay-zoo) is in every other decade but this one.
Hailing from Mars — Pennsylvania, that is — Kazew’s work is somewhat futuristic and alien in it’s own right. Kazew is a hybrid, an illustrator and a photographer trapped in one magnificent form; currently her inner photographer is winning out. Coming off of a June group show at ArtNowNY in Chelsea, she is already being recognized for a fashionably bizarre technique that mutely screams awesome.
We actually met Kazew at the opening of the show after coincidentally singling out her work before we even laid eyes on her. Such an occurrence could not be ignored, it can only be described as a match made in heaven. With Photo Week on the horizon, we told Kazew that we would definitely be in touch; for we knew that we had found our feature photographer.
Dwelling in a shared apartment in Bed Stuy that we’ve affectionately dubbed Kelley’s place, we visited Kazew at her place of residence where she kindly offered us cold Blue Moons and some comfy furnishing to rest our laurels. Despite her work and overall appearance, Kazew is actually quite soft-spoken and modest — yet a far cry away from shy.
In fact, when we proposed a picture of her dangerously licking a knife, she politely declined; leaving us to feel like complete sleezeballs for asking. The truth is, that although Kazew’s work may seem provocative through and through, there is something much more to her and her work — something much more real. We mistook the soon-to-be Pratt grad for a reckless whirlwind when she is indeed a calculated rebel.
“Growing up in suburbia I was kind of suppressed. It’s more of a taboo there [but] I was more interested in exploring it and it was liberating. I guess I’m just into sexuality… like pornography, more or less vintage porn… the aesthetic of it, the atmosphere of it… But I’m not really trying to intend an explicit vibe, it’s sort of an aspect of me.
But it’s not what it’s all about…”
Failed photo opt forgiven, Kazew opened up to us about her experience as a photographer, her appetite for illustration and the overall meaning of her work. Cameras in place and bellies full of cold beer, we were all ears. Like we said, there aren’t many left like Kazew and we knew that we were being granted the opportunity to capture a pure artist in motion; one that is on their way to being one of the most adored creators of our generation.