Soviet America

Soviet-era styling in modern America

Soviet America

Fall 2020 to Present

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It was in 2016, with Russian interference in the US election on everyone’s lips, that the notion of Soviet America struck me and I realized that I absolutely needed to do this project. It wouldn’t be until 4 years later that I would find the first model for the series: Alyssa. I’ve always been such a fan of the Soviet Cold War-era aesthetic and so I had this notion to sort of create that Soviet imagery in modern America. And make it very kitschy. And, of course, sexy.

The first shoot in this series with Alyssa was a little off-course from what I envisioned for this project. Not in a bad way. At all. In fact, I absolutely love the shots we took for this. But this set is more of an interlude to the project. Although can you have an interlude when there isn’t anything before it? That sounds like something a procrastinator might do.

Yeah, yeah, we’ll get to it. Here’s an interlude for now.

Maybe a better analogy is that it’s the opening act for the show. And what a great opening act.

For this set, Alyssa is wearing a ushanka and perusing some literature while posing around a bright red dome chair. One of the objectives for this particular set was to incorporate a camera as well. And that was done specifically for a spin on a popular meme: In Soviet America, Model Shoots Photographer!

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here at the Airport Ramada all week!

More seriously, though, there are a few different scenarios I see for this series and definitely not all of them will involve nudity. As previously stated, the end goal with this project is to create some fun, kitschy art. And throw in a whole lotta sexiness along the way.

Before we go any further, though, I want to express my views on a certain topic because it’s important to me and I wouldn’t want there to be any misinterpretation of this project. So let’s go.

Nationalism is dumb. And I’m not National Policy.

For as long as I can remember, it’s driven me mad that there are places on this earth where I’m not going to be particularly well-received simply because of my nationality. Growing up in Saudi Arabia and seeing a fair amount of the world before I was 10, my views developed such that I see each country as playing host to a ton of people living there who may or may not be culturally different from me. Likely they are, but in varying and often negligible degrees.

But going beyond that, I’ve always assumed that I could be friends with anyone on this planet. National boundaries are just silly to me. Totally important to respect cultural heritage and to allow people to live their lives in accordance with what’s right for them. But nationalism? No.

I just wanna be friends. That’s all. If you’re not going to like me, let it at least be because of a questionable taste in music or something more important. Not because of my nationality or, more specifically, because of the policies of the nation where I currently hold a passport.

My point to this is that, with this series, I am not in any way mocking the people of Russia or the former Soviet Union or lifestyles or any cultural heritage. At least not knowingly or intentionally. I’m just a huge fan of that particular aesthetic and want to highlight it within this project. If anything, I’d hope that this series might help to break barriers or shift dialogues to be more personal. To remove the distance between people. That said, if you are personally offended by this work or find it insensitive, please reach out to me so I can understand your viewpoint. Thanks.

Hopefully, you’ll simply just like what’s going on here in these photos and videos, though. 🙂

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