Ana Kraš is a Serbian-born furniture maker, photographer, and artist. She resides in New York City. Here she is interviewed for The Lab Magazine by fellow photographer Logan White.
LOGAN WHITE—Describe your first memory of being alive.
ANA KRAŠ—Uh… Late summer egg yolk light through the window falling on my baby crib and my mother’s hair being orange bright like the sun itself.
LW—What aspect of your work is most important to you?
AK—Selfishly, the most important aspect is that I enjoy myself while making whatever I am making. The result comes second, and results will always be sometimes good and sometimes bad, but I get to enjoy the process of working all the time, and that is what makes life much happier.
LW—If you could be any artist in history’s mistress and/or muse who would it be and why?
AK—Matisse, Seurat, and Woody Allen. I wish Matisse painted my dance in the field or Georges-Pierre Seurat portrayed me as one of the bathers in Bathers in Asnières, and over all, I wish I spent my life in Woody Allen movies as I feel on a daily basis my life is his script. Oh yes, two more. I wish I was Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, because she knows it all, and I wish Arthur Russell wrote Love Comes Back for me. This is a very, very fine question Logan. Thank you for making me think of this.
LW—When does beauty become a curse?
AK—I don’t know if they can be related; beauty is not that important.
LW—What do you like most about where you’re from?
AK—My family, and the simplicity that came from despair. People don’t have anything there to make them happy but themselves, so we all know how to be good with so so little. And there is so much less drama about nonsense. People are strong. And the food is so delicious! Some of the last true tomatoes in the world – ripe and red and juicy and meaty – still grow in Serbia. And there is kajmak! I know you have no clue what that is but it’s worth travelling all the way to Serbia to have it melt down your heart as you eat it. There are a lot of gorgeous wild dogs in the streets which I like even though they bite sometimes and then you need a tetanus shot.
LW—How do you know when you’re in love?
AK—Every cell in my body knows; every cell shines like a little sun.
LW—What did the funniest person you know do to make you laugh the hardest?
AK—Funnily enough, I cannot think of who and when and what they did. I laugh a lot at myself as I often end up in bizarre situations that I somehow create.
LW—What’s your go-to karaoke song?
AK—Oh my! I often go with TLC’s Waterfalls, Jolene, Say My Name – Destiny’s Child, of course – Like A Prayer by Madonna, Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, Prince, and some George Michael too.
LW—Have you ever seen a ghost? What was it like? And, if not, do you believe?
AK—I spent my childhood very fearful of ghosts and I thought I was seeing them. I would cover my head with the blanket when I went to sleep, leaving a tiny little hole for my nose so I could breathe. I was scared I would see a ghost and die from the fear of seeing them. I even had a period of a few months when I would have to have my mama in the toilet each time I went to pee because I thought I would see a ghost rising up from the floor tiles. I wonder where did all those ghosts go?
LW—Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever had sex?
AK—Oh, that is too intimate.
LW—If you were on death row what would you want for your last meal?
AK—Logan, I love you. My mama’s-style creamed spinach with a spoon of Greek yoghurt over it and two poached eggs.
LW—What if God were one of us?
AK—He most likely is.
LW—Who’s your favorite poet?
AK—My friend Jovana Buljugic. I am also deeply in love with many poems from this book called Women Poets of China, put together by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung. Those Chinese poetesses have such a subtle sensuality, delicate as porcelain. But porcelain on fire, as it’s all very intense and passionate.
LW—What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
AK—People in between the moments they are aware of.
LW—What’s your favorite material to feel against your skin?
AK—It’s skin. But fabric-wise I love to wear cashmere sweaters with no undershirt, and I love matte silks and viscose because it feels dry and cold on the skin.
LW—Do you believe that the great Pyramids of Egypt were built by aliens or humans?
AK—I am obsessed with Ancient Aliens! Do you watch that? That’ s my favorite way to fall asleep. I think they made them together in the most beautiful collaboration that I wish I was there to witness.
LW—What have you always wanted to do that you haven’t done?
AK—To stand-up paddle.
LW—Best decision you ever made?
AK—To get a studio to work in.