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I'm no art critic but this image on the left with flowery branches, partial outline of a face and moon in the background is just mind-blowing.

Isn't it?

This image is a part of the Double Exposure Series by Pakayla Biehn.

Pakayla is a San Francisco based artist, who recently moved to New York. Pakayla creates photo-realistic double exposure paintings collaborating with several photographers. Her double exposure series is a combination of floral patterns and analog photography.

She paints images using oil on canvas, creates amazing installations using helium filled hand bent glass, strings and glasses. Pakayla is one passionate artist, who loves painting and creating realistic art work. Read on to know more about Pakayla and her work in our exclusive interview with her.

1. Hi Pakayla, please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi Readers. I'm Pakayla. I paint and make things with my hands. I live in New York. I am made of mostly hair and glasses.

2. What prompted you to become an artist and take this up as a full time profession? Were you always artistically inclined?

Making things is what I've always had a passion to do. I can't pin point any major event in my life that sparked a serious movement into the arts. It was never that black and white. Art, no art- it was omnipresent. It's the only thing remaining from my childhood that I've cared enough about to carry it into my current life.

3. Tell us something about your double exposure series? What technique do you use? What was the  inspiration to create photo realistic paintings of double exposure photography?

I know that I had always wanted to do paintings about altered vision, or derived from some sort of vision abstraction, but I have having trouble finding images or manipulations that looked perfect. I think I was just pushing too far outside the limits with my digital references, creating images that were too far beyond comprehension, too abstracted visually. I was just messing around on Photoshop and learning about the program, when I started tweaking with the opacity on a couple images. Sort of creating a double exposure. I paired a couple photos that were really harmonious together, and basically that was the creation of my double image paintings. My technique is basic. Photo to Photoshop to double exposure to projection to canvas to painted image.


4. What led you to come up with the Strings installation? Just out of curiosity, do you remember the number strings you used in this installation?

With this installation I was working with memories and how time affects our memory. Sort of a study of the structure of subjective experience. The original painting was from a photo of myself on one of my younger birthdays, maybe three or four.  I liked the idea of a memory becoming more abstract the further away it was from the original time and place. This photo was a memory of an event, that I pushed further away into a painting, and then even further through strings woven in the canvas to create a very abstracted image at the end.

You know, I don't remember the amount of strings I used. I should have kept track!



5. How do you go about deciding on the theme you want to work on and the subjects? You create art in so many different forms, what is your favorite genre of artwork?(The latter part could be a bit difficult to answer...) 

Most of my themes are derivatives of the exploration of time. Time as something non-linear, everything happening all the time. A moment is not just one singular image and my paintings are an attempt to freeze a moment or feeling into several images compounding on one another, like memories resting on a shelf. Time as some type of transcending force.

My favorite genre of artwork is painting. I find it to be the medium in which I am most at ease.


6. I am sure that working on the “Neon” piece must have been fun and a bit daunting! What techniques did you use? Share your experience on working on this with us.

It was a very challenging piece. Learning a new medium is always that. I used the basic glass bending techniques for this piece, nothing fancy. But a learning experience. The glass is so fragile and delicate while you're bending it into its final form, but when filled with various gases takes on a whole new vibrant life, and sort of abandons most of its fragility. That was a lot of the inspiration for this piece. I'd love to work with neon again, I've been craving it and coming up with great new ideas to execute.


7. As an artist what do you draw inspiration from? This can be anything from blogs, books and magazines to vintage catalogues/manuals, etc.

Hair! I am so completely obsessed with hair. It's beginning to border on psychotic. As in, fighting the urge to snip off braids of unsuspecting victims on the street. It's rather creepy. I have a slow growing collection of friends hair and I'm starting some research on the subject of hair identities and the role hair has played in societies throughout history, culturally and superficially. Most of my inspiration comes from my core, a sort of search to discover who I really am, what I'm trying to accomplish and the struggles I've encountered.

8. If you could have one superhero (or magical) power, what would it be and why?

Its a toss up between telekinesis and invisibility. On one hand, I'd love to know what people are honestly like, the brutal truth. And on the other hand, I'd like to see my friends in their truest forms when they are alone. Both are an invasion and almost perversion of intimacy.

9. What are your future plans as an artist? Are you working on any interesting projects/concepts right now? Do you plan on expanding your repertoire of mediums or techniques in the future?

Paint paint paint paint. I'm slacking in that department right now. I've just moved to New York and the city is taking a toll. One pound of flesh. But hopefully I'll be back in the game soon enough.

10. What advice would you like to give to budding and aspiring artists and photographers?

Never stop working.

Thank you Pakayla for taking out the time and doing this interview with us. We'd like to wish you the very best for the future.

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