Aviv, known to many as Grimvr, speaks her soul through her dark and hauntingly beautiful images. Check her story out below.
Say hello to Aviv:
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I’m from Denver, Colorado originally, but have lived in New York City for the past few years.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
I’ve been traveling frequently since I was quite young. My favorite places stand to be New York City, Ghent, the Black Forest region of Germany, Salem, and various parts of New England. Specifically, my favorite spot is a small, unmarked, mountain-side burial plot just outside of a ghost town in Colorado. It’s so secluded and incredibly peaceful, and most of the graves are in little individual family plots from the mid-1800s. I try to go back with my best friends every time I’m in Colorado and I’ve done some of my favorite shoots here.
What’s on your “bucket list” of ideas to create?
I generally avoid things like bucket lists or thinking too thoroughly about the future, but I do have a series of photos planned out that I’d like to take against the Icelandic landscape.
How would you describe your visual style?
How do you find your inspiration?
I’m very fortunate to live in a city that’s drowning with looming architecture and a rich, dark history – I draw most of my inspiration from New York (and the characters that slither about in the night here). I’m also heavily influenced by historic aspects and portrayals of witchcraft, demonology, and the occult.
What was the moment you decided to become a photographer?
My interest in photography began in high school – I started taking an old 35mm camera (gifted to me by my sister) out on adventures with me and would develop my film in our school’s darkroom. I loved the process so much I shot strictly analog for something like 7 years after that.
Photography is competitive. How do you stand out?
Just by nature, my style draws from the darkest corners of the world – I think making that side of the world into a visible, tangible thing draws a certain morbid curiosity out of people.
If you could photograph anywhere in the world, where would it be?
There are so many places that I’m dying to get to – abandoned mental institutions, castles, and foggy woodlands – it’s impossible to narrow it down to one.
What do you think is the biggest thing holding you back in your photography?
The usual constraints of time and money. I’ll go through periods where I feel so incredibly stagnant and the only thing that’ll break me out of it is a trip somewhere. I’d be traveling constantly (and probably producing a lot more work) if I could.
How do you express yourself through your photography?
I’m actually a very quiet and reserved person around most. Photography is one of the only ways I can articulate myself.
What’s one lighting tip you’d like to share with other photographers?
No secret but natural lighting really is the best – and in the case of my imagery – natural gloom.
What has photography done for you as a person? How has it changed you?
When I started sharing my work, I never expected the overwhelming personal connection people would feel towards it. The most consistent response I get is that my work is soothing – that people take comfort in knowing that theirs isn’t the only mind that goes into these dark places. My photos have always been a reflection of my darkest personal and public demons, and it’s nice to know that in sharing those elements of myself, I can help people feel more comfortable with or equipped against their own darkness. Also, doing all of this through Instagram has built an insanely supportive creative community that acts as a consistent motivator and without which, I’d be much less inclined to continue sharing my work.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I’ll limit this to project-related things, but – breaking into abandoned buildings, cathedrals, and graveyards after hours, drawing/collecting vials of blood and locks of hair, etc.
For anyone that wants to get in touch with Aviv, here’s some contact information:
Aviv, thank you for sharing a bit about yourself! 🙂
If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.