As if a viewfinder into a magical realm where sprites and nymphs live in harmony alongside peaceful nude women and roaming animals, a photograph by Sarah Elise Abramson will attract your adoration and imaginative curiosity the moment you see one. Her photographs recall a surrealistic dreamland, and make real life moments out of day dreams and deep-rooted wishes. Her medium of choice is Polaroid film, playfully pushing and pulling on nostalgia and seductive whimsy. Well known for her band photography, music videos and independent art magazine Slow Toast, Abramson is a name to become familiar with—a rising dwarf star found among the celestial punk-playground of indie music and underground art. CULTURE was fortunate enough to catch a moment with Abramson, and pick her brain about art, life and cannabis.
Your photographs often incorporate female nudes. What is the significance for you?
I think I incorporate female nudes into a lot of my work because it is what appeals to me and symbolizes what is important to me. I’m proud to be a woman and feel strongly that all women should not only feel comfortable with their beauty but be proud of it and be strong, positive figures in our world today. Women should support one another, not compete with each other. Also, what is more honest than being in the nude? It’s compelling and complicated; as humans we’re drawn to it. Although, I try not to let myself get too comfortable with any one subject matter. Currently, I’ve been focusing more on inanimate objects, nature, shape, texture, etc.
What is it about the Polaroid cameras and film that you love so much?
There’s just something much more magical and mystical about film. It’s incredible. Film is what made me fall in love with taking pictures in the first place. It’s very intimate and has a tendency to surprise you, which I love. As opposed to digital, you have to be much more thoughtful before you take the picture. You have a limited number of frames or sheets so there’s this implied preciousness that comes with each frame.
What are your thoughts or feelings on the cannabis movement that’s been gaining momentum lately?
I’m certainly for the legalization of marijuana. I’ve seen it help people who are in a severe amount of pain and I feel that marijuana, in general, does more good than bad.
What projects are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on finishing “Playing with Magic,” the series I’ve been working on for the past few months. I’m actually going to St. Helena this weekend to visit my friend Domi (another of my favorite models) and try and conclude the series. My girlfriend and I will be staying with Domi at her house which is on a big plot of land, by a small river. I’m more proud of this body of work that anything I’ve done thus far. It feels really good to create something I love so much. I’m also slowly gathering the artists I’d like to feature in the upcoming issues of Slow Toast.
What is Slow Toast? Why do you feel it’s important?
Slow Toast is an independent art magazine. A new issue just came out, actually! It’s a hearty ninety pages featuring eighteen different artists from all around the world ranging from musicians to muralists to sculptors. It is creative, original and truly unlike any art (or otherwise) magazine I’ve ever come across.