I have a new girl crush-and this time it’s serious. Her name is Eva Zar and she everything but the shy neighbour girl hiding in her apartment, that is also home of 10 cats. According to her, she loves everything that is too much to handle: fruits, drag queens and inappropriate daily life details that also play a huge role in her work as photographer, installation artist and curator. I had the chance to babe out with her and ask her a few questions about everyday nonsense:
What’s your relationship to Bitchslap?
My best friend moved to Copenhagen for his studies in 2013. The first time I visited him, we were wandering around and I think I was hangover. On the corner of some random place I saw the magazine and was like “oh my, that’s a supercool name! I’m taking this one with me!“ – I guess it was love at first sight. Well and since then, Bitchslap and I are happily married and we have two children.
What was your first major artistic project?
Haha, back in the days, my mum had to work long hours and we didn’t have the time to go shopping, so I think it was probably my self-made 101 Dalmatians outfit I “designed“ for the carnival when I was about five years old. I made one for my little sister as well, so we could be twins. But I guess if you’re asking about the real big business, my first huge project was with Warner Music Germany and Media Productions in 2013. I was asked to conceptualize and produce the costume/set design for Left Boy’s music video “Security Check“. I remember that it was a hell lot of work and no sleep at all (we literally didn’t sleep for 45 hours) but in the end it was totally worth it. Crazy people, great vibes, insane result – all you need in a good project.
You grew up in Vienna. Do you still feel the influence of it in your work?
My mum, who influenced me and still influences me a lot is from Dagestan, Russia. And although I grew up in Vienna, I grew up with the caucasian culture even more. To be fair though, an upcoming project I’m working on right now, is inspired by Vienna’s architecture.
What’s your favourite (life) lesson from school?
Wow, this is a tough one. What I learned from school trough some really embarrassing and teachable moments are a thousand things but here are three: First, sometimes all you need is thirty seconds of crazy insane courage – just closing your eyes for a moment and asking yourself: what would I do if I wasn’t afraid? And then doing it. Second, if you don’t ask or don’t go after what you want, your answer will always be no, no, no. And last but not least, I learned that one should always pay attention – no matter where you are or who you’re with, pay attention to all the details around you, because they’re vital.
What’s the most unexpected response you’ve had to your work?
I remember somebody telling me they thought my work was superficial, not conceptual enough but too commercial. They said they didn’t really understand what I was up to because I only pretend to be an artist but I only do it for the money. At first, I was kind of surprised and offended but in the end, I thought it was kind of funny. I realized they were right. I make my money by doing something I’m actually passionated about and I guess that’s a good sign.
A lot of emerging female creatives make use of Instagram & Twitter. Are you tempted by the artistic and communicative power of social media?
Of course. I strongly believe that social media is a necessary tool for creatives. Our social media appearance is our CV, whether you like it or not. Clients will visit your instagram/twitter/facebook/snapchat account, so if you’re a creative, you better make sure there are no pictures of you having the time of your life on Ibiza back in 2007. That’s never a good idea.
Why do you chose to work with flashy colors in your work?
Because I’m not into minimal black and white stuff. Never was, never will. I remember learning one important thing that my friend Andy, a drag queen from Vienna, told me once: More is always more and less is always shit.
How do you think people perceive you when they meet you in real life?
I think it really depends on the situation, the mood and what daytime I meet someone. I already heard a lot of opinions about my first impression. Some thought I was crazy (in the head), some thought I was the nicest person on earth, some thought I was a total bitch. In the end you can just try to be a nice and honest strawberry (or any fruit you want to be) but there’s still going to be somebody who doesn’t like strawberries (or any fruit you are), you know?
Do you think women have equal access (with men) to the creative world?
Haha, no. The creative world is, just like every other business, about leadership, persistence and power. They’re still considered to be for men. A woman is still taught that no matter what she does, no matter what her achievement is, her value depends on how she looks. Hollywood tells us that women are fundamentally insecure and that they have to be sexy and beautiful to have power. If they’re a female leader, the only character you will see is a cold bossy bitchlady that gave up everything else to make it in the big business. There is a reason why there is a massive gap between featured male and female artists. I constantly find myself in a room surrounded by male artists and it’s not because there aren’t just as much female artists.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you are not working?
Spend time with my beloved ones.
What’s the question you’ve always been waiting for in an interview?
Maybe what I think about the term “true love“-but only so I could answer with a quote by Robert Fulghum: “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness-and call it love-true love.“ I just think it’s just too cute to not share it.