M: It’s been hard with a civil rights movement, along with a global pandemic as a backdrop and a completely incompetent president— to really have brain space to write. You would think it’s a lot of material but it’s an observation period. The challenge has been fighting feelings of anxiety at times and feeling stuck in the unknown….
G: I agree a lot with Meetra. I have many of the same feelings. Personally a big one that I have is planning for creative ventures in a time of such uncertainty. Not knowing how long things will be shut or when they open, how long will they be open. It's hard to dream and plan for a future or a future project/showing when there's so much uncertainty
What has been a challenge as a new couple during quarantine and Coronavirus?
M: Trying to navigate having our own work space in a New York city apartment.
G: Of course what Meetra said. We do share the space we have very well but it can be quite a challenge to do so. There's a lot of scheduling.
What is one thing you’ve appreciated about each other during this time?
M: My boyfriends cooking and watching comedy specials together. Also I’m inspired by his painting.
G: I love when Meetra brings me ice coffee in the morning and gives me back rubs at night. During this time you realize how simple things need to be.
What have each of you learned from this period?
M: To be patient, and communicate…for me that’s generally hard at times.
G: That society and the day to day of everything can really blind you to what's really important.
What’s something each of you has cooked for the other?
M: He makes the best breakfasts ever. Like it’s actually unreal. I’m working right now so getting breakfast while I’m in the middle of a call is like….BLESSED!!!!
G: Meetra cooks me Chicken Tikka which is my fav dish of hers. Spicy and sweet!
How has being quarantined together shifted your creative process, how have each of you managed to make time for yourselves as artists?
M: We kind of just lock each other in separate rooms and make sure to give each other alone time. I need my alone time. I think we are good at being independent people. However my creative process is definitely a little troubled right now…mostly due to the chaos of outside circumstances
G: In 2018 I took time off to pursue my art and it feels very similar to quarantine. I think quarantine has given me the ability to not give a fuck and thats really help my art grow.
How did you find photography? How has it evolved for you?
G: I found photography through my father. My father has always had his camera on him and I always saw it as this magical box that grabbed all my his attention. Naturally I had to figure out what was so special about the box. Throughout my childhood I played with all kinds of cameras and it changed the way I saw life. The act of photographing and my perspective on what I want to photograph hasn't changed much over the years but the evolution has been more directed to technique and style. I personally love reportage photography and there is an essence to powerful reportage photographs thats hard to put a finger on. I guess I have been chasing that power since I started taking photos. It's pushed me to try all kinds of film stocks and camera techniques, somehow trying to grasp on to the essence of an honest image that evokes some type of response. Whenever I figure it out I'll let you know.
How did you find writing? How has it evolved for you?
M: I found language through music when I was young. Lyrics led me to exploring language more deeply in relationship to life. I also started reading philosophy very young which sounds real snooty but Emerson and Kierkegaard fascinated me in how they analyzed worlds. Eventually I found poetry in everything I was reading- maybe because it’s what I was essentially looking for and I dug deeper in that direction of poets and translated poetry.
What is your creative process like?
M: I wish there was a process. Somedays you just sit down and you have to write. Some days you write little notes anywhere you can. It’s really about catching thoughts while you have them and then exploring what they mean through more considered language. I’m also really visual so going for long walks really helps me.
G: With my photography there isn't much of a process. I make sure that I have at least 2 cameras on hand at any given moment and I keep an eye out for something powerful, strange and memorable. Same with my painting. I make sure that I'm always ready for the decisive moment. After that it's all just about staying inspired and always trying something new and never getting tired of the thing you love
Where is home for you?
M: Home is New York City, where I live with my partner, and now upstate New York where my family lives…but a part of me still feels like I’m searching for home since Coronavirus.
G: Home is New York City. For the last 9 years I was living in Brooklyn but I have recently moved to the Upper East Side. It's actually been so much more inspiring than I thought it would be. I feel as though I'm by an old New York, a forgotten New York and a truly beautiful part of New York City. As a photographer it feels like being a kid in a candy store. Theres all these diverse and powerful faces around every corner.
What inspires you?
M: Hard work and pulling through amongst all odds.
G: Inspiring people who left behind a legacy, who found a truth behind their art and who enlightened others. Like myself.
What advice would you offer to your younger self?
M: Pay attention to what you give your attention to.
G: Ha I feel like its advice that I have to tell my past, present and future selfs. "Relax! One day it will all make sense."
Three words to describe yourself.
M: Introverted-extrovert, intuitive, goofy
G: Deep, warm, wacky.
What are you dreaming of?
M: A cozy home where everybody I love is gathered in a big back yard, eating and laughing together without the corona virus world. Also…traveling everywhere in the world!
G: I honestly should write all my dreams down because most of the time they are like the plot of a 500 million dollar action movie written by a 4 year old playing madlibs. Since I cant remember the one I had this morning I'll take a different interpretation of the question. Before I go to bed and often times when Im on the train I day dream of a house off the coast of Maine. A two story home painted black with white shutters. There are big trees all around it and you can always hear the leaves rustling. Theres an opening in the trees that can only be seen from the porch and the upstairs bedroom. Through the opening you can see a field with tall wavy grass and a small Harry Potter style shack and beyond that is the ocean. I spend a lot of time both in my waking and non waking hours building this house and understanding every inch of it. On my hardest days sometimes I imagine my older self sitting on the porch laughing at whatever's bothering me now, because it was never that big of a deal I just don't know it yet. So I guess thats what I've been dreaming of for a long time now.