Student makes history repeat itself through art
Taylor Richards – Copy Editor
Prints of Ozzy Osbourne and 60s Playboy covers sit in old frames from Savers above sophomore Chloe Klimczak’s bed. Other than the usual piles of clothes and books, there are vintage issues of magazines like RIP and BIKER scattered on her floor. Above the tank holding her pet snake Sid, there are posters of Axel Rose, Marilyn Manson and Suicidal Tendencies lining her peach-pink walls. A look into Klimczak’s bedroom, the main space where she works on her artwork, is a modest reflection of an aesthetic she portrays in her photography.
“I’m heavily influenced by metal bands, nostalgia and iconic images from the past,” said Klimczak about recurring themes in her photography and collages.
Rather than just being inspired by vintage themes, Klimczak is focused on recreating the nostalgia by using actual artifacts in her work. She said she has been collecting vintage magazines for years and uses clippings from them in her collages, along with her own illustrations.
In her photography, Klimczak frequently features the vintage magazines along with her own collection of vintage clothing and knick-knacks she finds at thrift stores and off eBay. Even the cameras she uses are a few decades old: some of her photographs have a watermark date reading ‘87.
According to Klimczak, a typical photo project starts in her bedroom. “When I’m looking for inspiration for a new series, I like to look through my old magazines until I get an idea. Then I like to plan a location and start brainstorming the styling and the backdrop. My sister Grace is a makeup artist and usually helps me out with that part.”
One of Klimczak’s favorite series is her “Fawn” self-portrait series that she worked on with her sister. The inspiration behind the portraits stemmed from iconic images of Pamela Anderson and Angelina Jolie.
Her sister did her makeup and took the photos while Klimczak picked the wardrobe to create looks similar to the celebrities’ styles. This is Klimczak’s favorite series not for her appreciation of their classic aesthetic, but for a greater purpose that related to her childhood.
“When I was younger, I was always a tomboy. I never thought that being girly and taking pictures of yourself was tough. I never wanted to look ‘too girly’ or ‘too sexy,’” said Klimczak. “I liked that I could show people in these photos that you could be both. You could be feminine and masculine. That’s why I like Angelina Jolie so much, she’s always been a balance of both.”
In September, Klimczak will be publishing a zine of her work and showcasing it at the New York Art Book Fair in Queens. According to their website, the fair is the “world’s leading event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines.” It was attended by more than 35,000 people last year.
Other than physically showing her work at the fair, Klimczak likes to display it on her instagram and website, in hopes of spreading the interest about her work and connecting with other artists.
Photo Credit: Grace Klimczak