The Culture Trip Interview by Johnny Levine
After spending nearly a decade in the Big Apple, Ella Manor, internationally renowned artist and fashion photographer, has returned to her native city of Tel Aviv. With an artistic style she describes as ‘a combination of various mediums and methods of thinking; energetic, primal, multidimensional, luscious colorful, layered, and full of contrasts that create tension but also coexist harmoniously,’ it only takes one glance at her work to see her unique, powerful style.
Manor has a long list of accolades including awards from the Prix de la Photographie (Paris) for both fashion and self portraiture photography. She also has awarded at the Black and White Spider Awards as well as the Color Awards.
A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, Manor creates provocative still and moving pieces that fuses fashion with art. Not one to sit idle, she splits her time between directing and shooting for international magazines, fashion campaigns, big time brands, and exhibiting her work in galleries around the world.
The Culture Trip was lucky enough to pin down Ella for an interview.
How has Tel Aviv been a part of your life while living in NYC?
While I was living in New York I visited Tel Aviv at least a couple of times a year and shot some parts from my series of self portraits in different locations in the city. A few examples of these locations are the flea market in Jaffa, Trumpeldor Cemetery, and the former Gordon Inn.
How has your career changed over the years?
In the past I was more strict about working within each medium. Today anything goes and everything blends into one another: video, installation, painting, photography, design, architecture, etc. These days I’m also more aware of the questions that I raise with my art, or the sensory experience that I want to take the viewer through.
How do you stay innovative?
I try to keep up to date with things that are happening culturally in the art, fashion and science worlds but I think mostly it’s my character. It’s always afraid of being boring or bored, or feeling the same as everyone else. I’m the type of person who needs a lot of diversity and freedom in their life.
Do you prefer to share the meaning behind your art or keep it secret?
This is a big discussion in the art world, and in my world. How much should an artist talk about their work, and in what way? And for me personally, how much do I want to reveal from about my personal life? A friend of mine said I’m constantly doing performance, in anything that I do. I think it’s hilarious and tragic at the same time. Do you know that feeling that you’re being watched all the time? It’s freaky, I have it. So, what to do? Try to learn to enjoy being watched. Or as Slavoj Žižek would say – ‘Enjoy your symptoms!’