Christina Kruse, Full Time in the Dark Room


Published February 27, 2009

August and Christina at the circus

Christina Kruse has been on and off the runways in recent seasons, but she’s been full-time in the darkroom. Kruse has taken photographs since 1996, when she picked it up from her boyfriend at the time, who was a photographer. Since then she’s self taught herself to shoot film, using the same Mamiya RZ 6×7 for the past 13 years. On the occasion of her recent series of self-portaits and collages at Steven Kasher Gallery, which opened last week but whose reception is March 5, we asked the muse-cum-maker to jot down some notes about her day to day.

On a typical day…I live in Chelsea. In the morning I like to have a cup of tea and smoke a cigarette by the window before my son August wakes up. On a typical day I get up at 7 AM, leave the house at 9 to go to my studio in Brooklyn, and head back to Manhattan by 4:15 PM to pick up August from school. I go home and make (or order) dinner for us, and put him to bed. Either I wait for babysitter in order to go meet friends or stay at home. Not that exciting… even though the occasional trip come up or a modeling job and that is a welcome break but honestly after all these years traveling I kind of like the “routine.” Today was not so much different.


On what caught her eye…I saw a woman wearing pink sweatpants, a fur jacket, sneakers, and a mask for construction workersâ??complemented by insane amounts of orange blush and eye make up .

On preparation for her show at Steven Kasher Gallery, and catharsis…I had only a few weeks to prepare, so I just did it. At the end when everything went to the framers I sat down asking myself, “What did I just do..?” That’s a good sign.

On being a model, for others and for herself…The portraits have been mostly self-portraits due to me being alone or on planes, travelsâ??or primarily, not feeling comfortable asking people to sit for me. In the past I always felt pressure that a sitter wanted to be made to look good. And God forbid if they didn’t like it. It was easiest to use myself: I didn’t have any of that, and I could do whatever I want. This has changed but the books will always be self-portraits. It’s its own on-going project.

Do I feel like I posses my image? Not at all: When I do my stuff I never think about that. It’s me and it’s irrelevant physically speaking. When I am being photographed it looks more like the “me” I know from photos that people would respond to. In my own work I don’t care what what I look like, as long as it makes my intended idea clear. It is beside the point.

Christina Kruse is on view at Steven Kasher Gallery  through March 28. Steven Kasher is located at 521 West 23 St., Second Floor. The reception is March 5, 6â??8 PM.