ARTIST PETRA COLLINS TALKS EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY, THE TEEN EXPERIENCE, AND DRESSING LIKE A BOSS
If you don’t know Petra, it’s about time you do. We fell for the indie artist on seeing her dreamy, nostalgic work for Rookie Magazine – think lo-fi photo diaries of high school graduation, body-positive collages and watercolours dedicated to teenage romance. The social savvy snapper (her Insta following tops 80K) invited us to the Lower East Side apartment she shares with BFF Tavi Gevinson (Queen of Rookie Mag) to muse over growing up and personal style.
When did your interest with photography start?
How would you describe your work to someone who hadn’t seen it?
What is it about this generation that you love?
How does fashion fit into your life?
How would you describe your personal style?
I started taking photos because I felt like I needed to. I’ve always been artistically inclined and that was my outlet. I’m dyslexic and struggled at school so it was through photography that I could let out my emotions. I still get inspiration from my experience as a young woman.
Photography that explores the teenage girl experience as I’ve been taking pictures since I was 14. Growing up is not the same for boys; girls are often forced to hide how they feel. I grew up in the suburbs and thought that my self worth was to be pretty. I’m still figuring it out but am trying to create work that talks through all these things.
We need to be ok that we’re always on our phones! We have these platforms that we’ve never had before and it’s so important and cool to let girls create their own identity. They’re representing themselves rather than have someone else do it for them. It’s an exciting new thing.
People look the best when they’re the most comfortable. That what I see as power dressing – you dress for yourself. When I dress like that I feel like the boss!
My style now is jeans and a crop top. I used to dress up super ‘70s disco-style but as I’m working so much more I can’t really wear platforms all day long. I’m really into running shoes at the moment too!
“We need to be ok that we’re always on our phones! ”
“I still get inspiration from my experience as a young woman”