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Friday, August 3, 2012

ONOH...Pure Beauty (Photography by Omri Malul for The IDEAL Magazine)

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The IDEAL Magazine | August 2012
Words/Photography by Omri Malul

Born amidst the white winter of Michigan in 1988, fledged in the great playground of Miami, and still in the throws of malleable adulthood after a sobering four years in Kansasland, ONOH is an Aquarian through and through. A graduate of Baker University in 2011 with degrees in International Studies & Political Science, she has lived in tiny towns & messy cities & even the chaotic wonder of North African Islamic society. She is always searching for ways to punch new stamps onto her passport's pages, and loves to stay up listening to your life story while drinking Chilean wine with you on your couch. Currently, ONOH lives in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and works as an Executive Assistant for Jumpstart Labs. Her free time is devoted to attending live shows, learning to program, reading, and yearning for France.

What are you up too these days?

I spend my times these days by attending good live shows across the country (I just returned from Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago), road-tripping, devouring books, and picking up new hobbies, such as programming. I also moonlight as an executive assistant to the head of a computer program development firm here in DC.  

Where do you find your passion between art and modeling?
I try to treat my posework as an extension of performance; thus, I find passion in not only capturing human expression but also relating it to the artist or photographer before me, because this is one facet of what art gives back to humanity. It recounts our experiences, and as a model it's my job to try and assume positions that are reflective of both human experience and emotion. The hard part now is translating that passion and purpose from art modeling to photo modeling, which is a different operation in pace and environment. I’m figuring it out!

What were you doing in Paris, and how did that experience shape your passion for art and modeling?I spent a month in Paris last December posing for the art guild Studio Escalier, which specializes in Classical Representationalism; prior to Paris, I lived and worked for Studio Escalier in the small town of Argenton-Chateau in the French countryside. Despite working as an art model since 2007, it wasn't until I began working for SE that I truly submitted to the challenge of not just posing artistically, but becoming an artist through the pose. The experience certainly helped develop my taste in art, but it made the artist within much more surefooted. 

Do you have any funny, weird, out of the ordinary modeling stories?Of course! When I was 19, I was in the throws of Finals week at my university, and as a result I hadn't slept or eaten much and was very dehydrated. I lasted all of two minutes on the model stand before passing out and falling off the platform, stark naked and in front of the entire class! 

Any advice to someone who would like to pose in front of the camera?Posing is a conversation; you cannot arrive at the scene unwilling to listen to what the circumstances call for. Be willing to adapt and take some direction from those around you; every photo-shoot is an opportunity to test yourself and try something new, no matter your level of experience. Be punctual, be attentive, and come with a positive attitude. Make jokes and have fun! Always trust your gut. Fake it till you make it.

What is the direction you would like to take artistically?
As odd as it sounds, I'm very happy to be doing more clothed shoots! More often than not I find myself interested in photographers either shooting me as I am or shooting me as something I aspire to be: wildly grand, larger-than-life shoots, or simply letting a photographer capture me in my street clothes and rat's nest hair. Currently, I'm obsessed with the concept of "hard femme" and would love to be photographed in the style. What can I say, I'm a convoluted hodge-podge of androgyny and red lipstick.
What would be an ideal art project that you would like to be involved in?At my core, I'm a performer and a story-teller. I know a photographer is right for me when we both agree that the most important part of the shot is not the model, but the harmonious union of a collection of intriguing elements which form an artistic photograph. 


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