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GreyEtc. for Art Youth Society’s ‘Brainchild’

GreyEtc. is the New York based creative brainchild of British born photographer Nadia Sarwar and Australian born photographer Drex Drechsel. Practicing distinct individual styles, the two met in New York and started working together creatively in 2013 on various projects, eventually combining various elements of their work to produce a new doctrine. With backgrounds in fine art, photography and digital art, the duo utilises a unique visual lexicon to focus on imagining and creating interdisciplinary works and art direction.

Grey Etc. focuses on employing various media and conceptual imagery to produce structured stories in an artistic, otherworldly manner.

So, first: Where are you from, where are you now and where will you be in 10 years?

Drex is from Australia, Nadia is from the UK, both live in Brooklyn and in 10 years we’ll finishing up our back catalog of B-Grade Horror films.

How did you join the society (of photography artists) and why?

We fell into it. We have the scars to prove it.

What does art mean to you? Do you consider yourself as an artist?

One of the things we agree upon is that art means subjectivity, thus it would feel indulgent and probably a little trite to label ourselves artists.

Youth is an attitude to life. Which aspects are essential for you? (Name 1-3)

Exploration, ideation, adventure.

Which kind of editorial do you want to shoot, if budget was nothing to think about?

Any editorial that involves Gary Busey. Or more specifically, his beautiful grill.

City crush? Why?

We’re going to go behind New York’s back and say Tokyo and Seoul. We also like to flirt with a few European cities.

Froufrouu, your blog contains a lot of black and white photography.

Drex, your project »drexdrechseldiary« is also a b/w-themed web-page. Why do both of you choose to limit colours to such a high extent?

Nadia: I’m a fan of both B&W and colour, when done right. The primary reason I use black and white is to channel focus on the composition of an image – I find colour sometimes distracts me from the integrity of a photo, which in my eye, is the content.

Drex: My thoughts are similar. To elaborate, I’ll refer to Ben Long: ‘Color can be distracting. In a black-and-white image, the world is reduced purely to tone, to light and shadow, brightness and darkness. The black-and-white world is a world of pure luminosity. As a black-and-white photographer, your visual vocabulary simplifies to form shape, texture, volume, highlight, and shadow’.

You work as a photography-duo. Do you always have the same opinion? Could you describe your typical workflow? (Do you devide the work into individual tasks, so that the one has to care about this and the other about that? Or do you work on everything together?)

We both have our individual fortes and work together by acknowledging these and allowing the process the flow naturally. We trust one another’s talents and skills enough to allow one another to take lead on certain aspects, but our creative minds work together on most decisions. Yin and Yang.

Interview by Sarah Krause