Los Angeles | New York
I am Niv Ocean Shank and I am a photographer/ director.
In the creative industries people are often associated and perceived by their [visual] work. Do you find it difficult to separate your personality/personal life from your creative work?
I always thought that it’s better to separate your personal life from your work, but I no longer feel this way. As an artist there should be no walls. Your personal life should be a reflection of your work, that’s the only way to be brave and really express your true self.
Roughly, how long did it take until your career as a photographer let you make a full living?
There are some assignments that are meant to support you financially and there are assignments that are meant to support you emotionally and creatively. Only when I started to work with an agent did I fully understand the difference between art and commerce.
Do you think your work is a direct reflection of you?
My personal work as always was a mirror to my life, changes and emotions I experience, and my mental state of mind. When I’m happy my work shines, when I’m sad; it’s dark, when I’m confused; it’s not clear.
What is your favorite city and why?
I will have to say Barcelona, I feel like I lived there in a previous life. Walking in the beautiful old narrow street it’s really fascinating to me. I love walking in a place where anywhere you look, there’s true beauty.
How would you define stability?
Something that you know you have to do and take care; its like parenthood for
Is there an artist that /photographer that you aspire to?
A mix of these wonderful Artists Roman Polanski, French new wave, Helmut Newtown, Gregory Crudson, Stanley Kubrick, Gus van Sant.
Natural light or studio light?
Both, but natural light is the foundation.
Picasso once said, “It isn’t up to the painter to define the symbols. Otherwise it would be better if he wrote them out in so many words. The public who look at the picture must interpret the symbols as they understand them”. Do you agree with his views and why?
Absolutely. What is the point of creating a visual if the definition of it is explained by the creator?