GAB BOIS IS A VERY YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN MONTREAL. HER TECHNIQUE CENTERS AROUND SELF-PORTRAIT, FOCUSING ON THE FEMALE BODY OF WHICH SHE ACCENTUATES A NUMBER OF AESTHETIC DETAILS LIKE PIERCINGS WITH EXTREME SENSUOUSNESS AND SHAMELESSNESS. REDMILK WANTED TO LEARN MORE AND TALKED TO HER FOR AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.
How did you start collaborating with BigCartel?
It was a little less than a year ago when I had just finished my first zine and my friend who had helped me edit it and put it together told me I should sell it. It was a project I did with the idea of doing it for myself and showing it or giving copies to my close friends but I decided to try putting it up for sale online just out of curiosity. A lot more people than I expected bought it and that was the start of it for me. During the following months, I started doing a lot more photography and decided to make small prints and sell them as well. I chose BigCartel because it’s really easy to use and I’m not very good at figuring out web stuff. However, I will be launching my new website sometimes in the next month and we created a whole new online store for @gabbois on a totally different platform. It’s a lot less DIY than the merch I was offering on BigCartel, much better quality and much more interesting products in my opinion.
How would you describe your artistic vision to someone who doesn’t know your work?
Before I answer this question, I just want to clarify that photography is not my job, it’s a hobby. I wouldn’t really know how to describe my style because it’s not something that I really think about. I guess my equipment has a huge impact on my style. I recently started shopping for a new camera and ended up taking back the thousand dollar one to the store and got a cheap compact one from the pharmacy instead. I would say my style is very « diy », very conceptual and not focused on technique at all.
What does the word “weird” mean to you?
Funny you should ask that because it’s a discussion I had with one of my close friends really recently. I was talking about the fact that my photography style is often labeled as « weird » and people often try to justify themselves when they say it to my face like « No but like, a good weird » or use « not to be mean or anything but… » before addressing it. I think it’s funny that people are so uncomfortable using that word because I never take offense in it. I remember about a year ago, I was working with a girl who I went to high school with and one of my colleagues told me she had asked her how I was back in high school and she answered « weird ». I didn’t like high school at all and hated most people I went to school with so I remember thinking that if they thought I was weird and different, I was probably doing something right. That’s when this word started to have such a positive meaning to me.
What do you intend to show to the viewer with your photography?
I have a very selfish process when it comes to photography because to be quite honest, I work for myself. I don’t ever create something with the idea of showing something to someone. I try to use a lot of sarcasm in my work and I guess that’s what I would say I would like the spectator to understand: that you can’t take it too seriously. I’d like to address more serious issues that are very important to me in future projects. I’ve been thinking a lot about making my images more meaningful to myself so that they feel more like statements rather than just aesthetically pleasing pictures, so that’s some of what I will be working on in the near future.
What are your favorite supports in your creations?
My body is my main support. I love playing around with all the options that the human body gives you when it comes to composition.
Do you have a lifestyle or art icon?
I’ve told this a lot before but Chloe Sevigny is my main female role model. I love that she embraces all of her talents and uses them to live a very successful but also very versatile career. I find that very few people go through life without being labeled by their work title and this lady is one of the best examples you can find. Obviously, I also admire her great sense of style.
Instagram is a good showcase for many young people’s work, right? If you think it is, tell us about your experience with social networks
It definitely has its good aspects. I think I’ve had a very good social experience with Instagram itself but sometimes the people on Instagram are the ones making it harder to appreciate this platform. A lot of people don’t know the importance of crediting artists’ work. Especially since IG give such easy and fast access to so much content, people don’t always consider that art that’s shared on any social media is still art. No museum would display uncredited art pieces, so it’s basically the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, reposts are great, I would never have this large follower base if it wasn’t for them but sometimes, the people who repost my work act as they’re doing me some kind of favour which is something that annoys me a lot because I feel that too many people get social media recognition off other people’s work .
Are there any artists you follow regularly on Instagram?
Artistic duo @meatwreck, ig friend @tomgalle and NYC ladies @avanope, @johnyuyi and @scientwhest.
Photos courtesy the artist