Ana Kraš sounds like a great name for a band. Or perhaps the name of a starlet in a Godard film played by a young Jane Birkin or Francoise Hardy. Better yet, in fact, a Belgrade-born design star whose talents extend to photography, illustration, handicrafts, and more. Not to mention being the new face of Spanish fashion brand Hoss Intropia’s Spring/Summer 2015 campaign. Kraš is the consummate polymath; a (refreshingly modest) it-girl by virtue of her myriad artistic abilities and striking natural beauty.
The pleasure is in the making, for Kraš. She spends her days swept up in a bricolage of ideas and materials: sketching in bed, painstakingly spooling yarn over metal frames, assembling wooden and wire fixtures, and snapping photographs of the subjects passing through her world.
Kraš’ creations do not conceal their construction: a table is a table, a chair is irrefutably a chair. Her spare designs are honest, not overly sentimental, and yet exude a childlike cunning. Her whimsical, analytic aesthetic has been featured in publications across the globe, from the likes of Vogue Paris to T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and has captured the attention of countless bloggers and Tumblr scavengers.
Kraš’ romance with the quotidian is realized in Intropia’s dreamy, nouveau-bohemian collection. In “The Intropia of Ana Kraš,” a video for the brand shot by her close childhood friends, Kraš glides through montages of Marrakech, sporting the label’s garments--almost too naturally. Quite clearly, Kraš is Intropia’s ethos incarnate.
Across your many mediums, does one come more naturally to you than the others?
Drawing is like a handwriting, maybe the most natural one. Photography is also very natural, it's the same as seeing, just add pressing a button. Designing, too, is a very natural process for me because that is how my mind works 24/7 – very problem-solving oriented. So they are all very very natural; I can't choose between them.
What compels you to create objects with a clear function (like furniture) versus those without?
I like that aspect. I don’t think adding a purpose takes away from the form. Also, it presents more problems to solve when working, more like mathematics, which i was always a fan of.
What is the personal significance of the intimate, meditative process of making things by hand?
It feels good.
Who (or what) are the most appealing subjects for you to photograph?
People, they are so interesting.
What do you consider most beautiful; do you strive to create beautiful things?
That’s so relative. It's totally a matter of taste. Some things that I find beautiful I for sure know many people find ugly, and the other way round. There is beauty in elegance and simplicity and there's beauty in messiness and disproportion. I can't think of anything that's not beautiful in some context.
What shapes, colors, materials, or use-values have you been attracted to lately? Is there another medium you’re itching to explore?
I am very curious about everything, all materials, and I love all shapes and colors. I've been thinking of cylinders a lot lately.
As the face of Hoss Intropia, do you find that your aesthetic philosophy meshes with that of the brand?
Hoss Intropia has a variety of styles, and personally, I’m the same way; I’m not married to one style but open to many different ones. The collection is large and variable and there is something for everyone. The moment when it was clear to me that I would love to collaborate with Hoss Intropia is when I suggested that my two best childhood friends from Belgrade shoot the campaign, and they were excited about that idea. Many brands would stick to agencies and well-known photographers, and I appreciated the free and playful approach they had while doing this campaign. I like that ethos. And we got to have so much fun while shooting.
How did this synthesis inform both the window displays you crafted for Hoss Intropia stores in Madrid, Barcelona, and London, as well as the T-shirts you designed in collaboration with Intermon Oxfam?
Some of my objects will be displayed in Hoss Intropia’s store windows, and some colors have been altered to match their collection’s theme. I also played with the background display units, making some simple graphics. The T-shirt collaboration is for the charity project Hoss Intropia is doing with Intermon Oxfam to raise funds that will help women fight against discrimination and for their right to work and be independent. I couldn't be happier to be supporting a project of this kind. We often forget that the freedom we have doesn’t exist in the rest of the world. The drawing on the T-shirt is a drawing from my series Mothers and Spoons which represents an archetype of a caring and strong mother, the most beautiful aspect of a woman. So folks, buy the T-shirt and support!
When you're modeling for a brand, do you consider this making art?
No, not art, unless I am involved in art direction. When modeling, I am just being part of someone else's vision and trying to ‘fit it’ as much as possible and be professional. It's like role playing. I am not being myself but the girl the brand creates with their art direction, photography, style, etc. On this shoot I felt much more like myself considering I was there with my pals and didn’t have on any weird makeup or hairstyle.
How do you feel about the term it-girl? What does it represent to you, and what do you feel you are called on to represent?
I actually never tried to put in words what I think the it-girl is. It's a funny new name for something that has always been around. I think it stands for a female who inspires mostly other females with their work, look, style, words, the way they live their life, etc. It's someone who young girls look up to. It's a sort of idolization, which is not an accurate or healthy idea, but it is very human so it exists and will continue to exist. Back in the days, the idol-girls were mainly actresses and singers because film and radio where the only things around available for massive audience – while nowadays it can be anyone. It-girls are not distant superstars anymore, but the girls that are actually around and could be your friends. It's very weird for me to think of myself as some sort of an idol for someone. I don’t feel comfortable with that. The only way I can think of it with pleasure is if I think of it as my work inspiring young girls to make things and to feel free to make their lives whatever they want them to be.