Tatijana Shoan, a renowned photographer and Graphis Master from the USA, collaborated with multi-media artist Grimanesa Amorós to create a photoshoot featuring actress-singer-songwriter Maya Hawke for AS IF Magazine. The photoshoot showcases Amorós’ ethereal light sculptures that use light to balance darkness, a theme throughout Hawke’s latest album, Moss. Shoan’s mission was to capture that light and translate the experience to the readers of AS IF Magazine.
By: Tatijana Shoan
“‘Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds,’ wrote Louisa May Alcott in her seminal novel, Little Women in 1868. A simple quote that bears deep meaning that is all too easy to forget when the clouds turn day into night. Waiting for the light to break the cloak of darkness is part of the human condition and has been my primary quest for the last year. This quest led me to contact Peruvian American multi-media artist Grimanesa Amorós. I have been drawn to Amorós ethereal light sculptures for their ability to allow the contrast of dark and light to co-exist in equal measure. Amorós’ artwork reminds the viewer that you cannot have one without the other, and darkness is necessary for light to thrive. And the beauty of finding the light is the main focus for our cover feature collaboration with actor-singer-songwriter Maya Hawke.
“New York-born Maya Hawke, 24, is known for many things. Firstly, she is the child of Hollywood heavyweights Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. Secondly, she is a gifted actress in her own right. Hawke landed her first gig, the coveted role of Jo March in the BBC’s adaptation of Little Woman, in 2017 when she was in her first year at Juilliard. Maya’s visibility skyrocketed after landing the role of Robin Buckley in Netflix’s most-watched English language series, Stranger Things. Thirdly, this summer Maya released her second album, Moss, which showcases the actress-singer-songwriter’s talent for the written word and dreamy yet catchy melodies. Her voice is laced with notes of smoky oak, fresh-cut grass, sour cherries, and orange blossom honey—if I could bottle her voice into a perfume, I would bathe myself in the scent for all seasons. Listening to her first album, Blush, and now her second album, Moss, I am moved to a light, uplifting energy.
“And light, as a metaphor, is a theme that plays throughout Hawke’s latest album. ‘I glow in the dark; you can take me apart,’ she sings. As she explains in our interview, the album addresses the inner light in all of us, so joining our collaboration was kismet as light is Amorós’ primary medium. Amorós harnesses light into flexible tubes that she controls through a complicated proprietary computer system that allows her to choreograph light in various color hues to hypnotic music. Amorós used site-specific light sculptures for our photoshoot while also creating new light sculptures by enveloping Hawke in her custom-built light tubes as I photographed her.
“Grimanesa’s artworks are experiential; viewers are sometimes encouraged to enter into the worlds she creates. Maya’s acting performances present worlds for us to ponder, while her music allows us to contemplate ourselves and the world around us. Both women’s work encourages us to access the light within, and this collaboration speaks to that idea. My mission was to capture that light and translate that experience to you.”