Images courtesy of Aviv Grimm
Aviv Grimm is a New York City-based photographer and model. Her work focuses on the darker side of architecture, landscape, and interiors – each image possessing something of a haunted quality. Elements of witchcraft and occultism are also heavy influences in her work.
Please tell us about yourself!
I was raised in the dreadfully sunny mountains of Colorado. A lot of my growth as an artist was shaped by my attempts to cope with being such an outcast and escape the ill-fitting horror. I’ve lived in New York City for the past several years with my twin black cats and about a million dusty antiques. I work in photography, sleep almost never, bury myself in books, and occasionally crawl out into the night to slither about the grim & dreamy streets.
How did you become interested in photography/modelling? Which happened first? Do you enjoy one over the other?
Photography certainly comes more naturally to me. My interest began in high school. I enrolled in a photography course every semester and took to the comfort of the dark room to escape days of tormented youth. My primary subject has always been myself – its always easier to manipulate my body and movement to achieve the exact outcome I’m looking for rather than direct someone who’s vision might not align with what I have in mind. Interest in modelling for others began to grow the more I photographed myself.
What attracts you to the dark and haunted?
I’ve been interested in all things dark and haunted for as long as I can remember. I think its fascinating that as a society we suppress the darkest parts of ourselves. We run along pretending as if these things don’t exist which forces them grow more fiercely in the corners of our cultural order and manifest in the strangest ways. A lot of my work expresses these little hidden atrocities – which I think is what makes it relatable, particularly in the Instagram community.
Tell me a little about your process for photography/modelling
I’m discovering more and more that I don’t have a process when it comes to photography. More often than not an idea will occur to me and I (time allowing) will put it into action before the vision passes. I’ve tried creating mood boards or coordinating shoots with other artists and rarely do either of these work for me. When it comes to modelling its quite the opposite. I like to study the photographer/designer’s references and fully envision how I’d like to portray myself before I step into the shoot.
What does ‘witchcraft’ mean to you?
I’m opposed to organized religion in all forms. Witchcraft was an outlet to escape the imprisonment of theism that I was raised with. To me, witchcraft is my relationship with feminism, the earth, the elements, and my intentions.
Do you believe in karma? What does karma mean to you?
I do believe in karma. Energies are reflected into the universe and come back to us in a multitude of ways. I often see karma as the reciprocal action of setting your intentions in witchcraft.
Who/what inspires you?
An obsessive reader and writer my entire life, I find that the majority of my inspiration comes from a desire to recreate the imagery described in storytelling. My work is heavily influenced by pagan folklore and stories of demonology and the occult.
What are your favourite quotes?
“When you have lost everything, and fallen into brooding melancholia, her magic will guide you into even greater heights.” – Louise Heubner
“They say I’m crone old or siren sexy, but always my presence is a poison.” – What is a Witch by Pam Grossman and Tin Can Forest
Crystal/stone: I always have a stone or two floating around in my pockets. Lately I’ve been more drawn to rose quartz and smoky/black quartz, though, historically, onyx has been the most powerful for me
Colour: Hate to be obvious here, but I’d have to go with black
Animal: Cat, they’re our little familiars