Floral Fragility

sarah elise abramson

Sarah Elise Abramson is a 29-year-old photographer and artist based out of San Pedro, CA. Sarah picked up her first camera when she was 11 years old and haven’t put it down since. She lives in a lovely sea foam green house with a giant backyard full of live fruit trees and dead tree branches. She’s obsessed with finding the surreal in the everyday as well as staging dream like scenarios (mostly) around San Pedro with her friends as her subjects. For Sarah, creating is a deeply rooted compulsion that is only satiated by habitually making something from nothing.


Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?


Oh, most definitely! I mean, that just makes sense, no? Who knows a woman’s body better than another woman? Not to mention the fact that the art world is still incredibly male dominated; meaning that most of the images of women that we are seeing on a day to day basis are shot by men. I for one, would love to see this change. I’d like to see a lot of things change, but women finally getting equal rights, equal pay, etc. is certainly at the top of that list.


What inspires you?


My friends and nature are my two biggest inspirations. Then a whole weird myriad of things: philosophy and certain stories, memories and dreams. I’m obsessed with things that contradict each other and the spectrum of light and dark, good and evil, yin and yang etc. and the balance that exists within that dynamic. I’m also really intrigued by the fragility of humans and what emotions are and how they shape moments, lives and the world. I love yard sales, swap meets, those sketchy antique malls on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere but I especially love estate sales. So many of my possessions are from estate sales. I adore objects that have been discarded and/or that hold a story within them. I’ll often incorporate those objects into photoshoots.


How would you define beauty?


To me beauty is something that comes from within and radiates out. I also find unique faces and personalities beautiful. Humble confidence is incredibly beautiful. I’m a strong believer that all women are beautiful and should act as such. We must be strong and confident and know we’re all beautiful for different reasons.


Film or digital?


Film for life. I fully realise that digital is far more practical but I’m not really thinking in terms of practicality when it comes to making art. After learning on film and shooting with it for the past eighteen years, it’s just how my brain sees things now. I’ll bust out my digital camera in very rare circumstances. There is just something much more magical about film. The tangibility and alchemic qualities that come with using film are exquisite and incomparable.


What makes you happy?


My friends, my parents, my cat. Big bodies of water, being in love, being loved, all animals, knocking on strangers doors, old houses or buildings, Frank Lloyd Wright, glitter and sequence and anything shiny, found objects, discarded treasures, secret spots, music and magic, old cars, the clouds, library water, travel, different cultures, passion, the super natural, dreams and the brain, making something from nothing, The Beach Boys, gardening, and nature in its entirety.


What’s next for you?


I have a solo show called, Deja Vu in General at Coagula Gallery in Chinatown. Opening night is December 3rd. It’s a retrospective of my Polaroid work from the last decade. There will be over 200 original Polaroids on display along with a few other awesome surprises. If you’re in the LA area, please come check it out! It’s also the first time you’ll be able to purchase my book (same title as the exhibition) that I’ve been working on with Mat Gleason (publisher, art critic, writer, curator and gallery owner). I’m beyond excited for this show! After that I have several really exciting collaborations in the works so I’ll just be fully immersed in all those.

photography: sarah elise abramson