You just need to take a look at Erez Avissar’s website to realize that he is kind of an omnipresent human being in Brooklyn’s nightlife. His camera has shot big artists, such as A$AP Rocky, Grimes or Mac DeMarco. In addition, he owns a music label and he is also a DJ. Erez Avissar lives for the music and the need to document it. We had a chat with him to know a little bit more about what’s hidden behind this restless artist.
First of all, can I ask you to introduce yourself?
Hi, I'm Erez (or Rezzie) Avissar. Moroccan blood, born in DC and live in Brooklyn.
I spend my days trying to tear down the notions of "art," "work" and "normal," to remind the importance of freedom and individuality, to bring some kind of beauty to the world, while highlighting the beauty that’s already there (to name a few things), or a merchant of FOMO and vibes. I sometimes go by the name of my brand, Weird Magic. I’m not crazy about the name anymore, but it kind of sums things up. And I am also terrible with words (and intros).
When did you first become interested in photography?
I have always felt the need to document things, via words, sounds, photos. I remember shooting a trip through Europe with just a little webcam tethered to my computer in my teens. Back before I considered myself a photographer, some photos I took, for whatever reason, I really liked and it would get me high. Conversely, if I miss or can't capture a great moment in time, that's the worst feeling in the world.
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What do you like about music photography?
I’m not sure. But since I got my first camera, circa high school, I’ve always taken it to shows (as well as travelling, with friends, etc.) Then, when I got my first photos published, it was through The Fader, a music magazine, where I was doing graphic design. So it happened kind of organically/accidentally. Not to disrespect it though – to this day some of my proudest shots are of musicians. I live for music and always felt the impulse to document it. Just as anyone else at a show does, I guess. I just tried to do it well, as I would anything else.
In addition to music photography you also play music, shoot music videos, you have your own music label... It seems like everything you do is music-related. What is it about music that inspires you to create?
Maybe it’s a natural end result of creative impulse and love for music. I do see it as all interconnected, or like a big puzzle. Photography is a big part of it, and I have found it comes out pretty naturally. The music I make also, for instance, communicates a lot of the same feelings, and is very documentary – I incorporate a lot of real-life samples. I feel that they are all vehicles taking the same route.
You are also a photographer of Brooklyn’s nightlife. What does someone need to have to grab your attention and make you want to shoot them?
I am interested in people in general; they are really my #1 muses for photos. Anyone can grab my attention, famous or not… All kinds of people interest me: young, old, male, female, attractive, and ugly. I fall in love with someone every 5 seconds. It’s kind of the same with photos: if I take your photo, that means I like you, I think you’re cool.
“If I miss or can’t capture a great moment in time, that’s the worst feeling in the world.”
You have taken pictures of Kanye West, Mac DeMarco, Grimes, A$AP Rocky... Is there anybody you were really excited about taking pictures of?
Kanye I cornered by stroke of luck and perseverance, and he only gave me one photo, so of course I was ecstatic that it came out in focus. Mac DeMarco and Grimes were more friendly and casual affairs, which always yields better and purer results. My best A$AP Rocky shots were right before he blew up, when I knew he was hungry for the fame/lens – that’s always a great time to catch them.
Mostly I cherish the photos I have of people that are no longer with us. When Prince died, I was crushed that I never got to shoot him. I immediately wrote up a list of people I NEED to see/shoot. I’ve never shot Beyoncé in concert, but we did take photos of each other outside of Jay Z’s club.
How many pictures do you usually have to take before you get “the one”?
I'm a serial snapper. I take as many as necessary before one comes out. I will take a thousand photos in no time flat. Sometimes one is all you need, and sometimes it’s a moment in-between that lasts 0,001 second, where the expression, lighting, and maybe something extra all come together perfectly. So: flick, flick, flick.
Judging by your pictures, it seems like you spend a lot of time in party situations. Have you ever thought of having a more chill or relaxing job?
(Laughs) I have been posting too many party photos, I know. I live for (and in) the night-time. Definitely no plans to quit and get a day job – I left mine because it was preventing me from traveling and living on my own schedule and doing this. If anything, I want to travel a lot more. I want to see and capture so many people and places. Go crazy! (Crazier).
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So... Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’m 30 now. In 10 years I will probably (hopefully) have a family. Damn! I haven’t gotten tired of it yet, and probably never will. I’m only still getting started, still figuring it all out.
Apart from starting a family, do you have any future projects in mind?
Just to take it further and get better. Right now I’m trying to see the bigger picture. There are many things I would like to try. To blend audio and visuals. Definitely more video. I want to release more – hopefully this year, my first book and album.
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