by Javier Melian, Chrom-Art.org co-founder
We don't know nor want to deactivate this creative bomb called Emma Zarifi, a living art work herself and ultimate selfie queen. She is young, emerging, outsider and revolutionary. The place: #TRIBE15, London. The time: September, from Friday 4th - 12am to Sunday 6th - 5pm. You've been warned!
Emma Zarifi is originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne. She studied Creative Advertising as a foundation degree but found it too constricting. Zarifi then went on to study photography; this is when she started photographing herself as she found it hard to connect with models. She began to explore her own identity through photography by using different costumes and characters. This helped ease the struggle she faced between living up to what her family expected of her and the person she really wanted to be. Zarifi also uses muses in her work such as drag performers or characters she has met along her journey that have heavily influenced her. One character, public figure and 'artiste extraordinaire' Sue Krietzman greatly influenced Emma to create wearable art. Since the beginning of this year Emma has been producing customised jewellery from commissions and for personal use.
Zarifi is stirring the London avant-garde Art scene with her works and her mere presence. She was 'Ru Paul's Drag Race' London events official photographer, and has exhibited work with some great outsider artists such as Sue Krietzman and Diane Goldie. Her career is just starting to take off and everyone is very excited to see what the future will bring for her.
She shoots, she paints, she draws, she acts, she IS.. Emma ZARIFI
How and when did you realise you were an artist?
I never realised I was an artist until recently, creating and expressing myself just came naturally to me.
How would you describe your style?
My style is surreal, playful, and sharp
What does colour represent to you?
Colour represents style, beauty, mood, the world and beyond.
Is there a message in your art? What is it?
The art itself is demonstrating emma zarifi journey and progression as a person, So I suppose the message is be yourself and have your own journey.
How and when did you start with self-portraiture?
I started when I was struggling with my identity, I was trying to fit in but I always felt out of place and when studying photography I was always more drawn to artists such as Cindy Sherman and
thought 'perhaps I should try that'...and here we are.
How do you feel more at ease, as a performer or a visual artist?
I feel as if currently I am being more drawn to performance because it is something I haven't tried as much but I am confident with my visual work.
How would you describe the current art scene and opportunities for new artists to exhibit?
I Would describe it as its very difficult for artists to afford to exhibit, its all down to the money. however there is many people that understand and can be willing to help, I believe there is
lots of great places its just finding people at the right time, and making things work within a strong community group.
What would be your dream collaboration
I don't really have a dream collaboration but I suppose it would be to photograph all the amazing characters I have met all together in one shot, almost like a family portrait.
What other artists do you admire? What is your favourite piece of art?
I admire a lot of artists but have no favourite piece of work. My favourite piece of art doesn't exist, there is too much wonderful art by a lot of creative people.
What are your artistic dreams?
My dream is to inspire people, and to keep creating and expanding my ideas for people to see