Alexandra & Chris
- Photography by Chris Colls
- In Collaboration with Alexandra Agoston
- Words by Nicholas Goodman
This pandemic has transformed life as we once knew it. It has taken loved ones, shuttered businesses, and tethered many to their homes. Though the future still remains uncertain, this shared isolation has revitalized our sense of community and even, become a source of inspiration. While each of us grapples with the sadness, anxiety and ennui of this moment, many are delving into themselves and the things they are surrounded by to find some respite. For this series, we asked a handful of artists, models and collaborators to share their aperture on this experience in their own words and images.
Unconditional: How do you feel right now?
Alexandra Agoston and Chris Colls: There is a very unique energy in New York right now, you can feel the weight of the crisis, but also the powerful solidarity of the city, a new kind of humanity, and the strength of New Yorkers.
UM: Do you have a routine or daily rituals at the moment?
AA: I’m normally not someone for a routine, but at the moment I’m finding comfort in small daily rituals. I have a big glass of water with lemon juice in the morning and stretch on my yoga mat, a combination of pilates, yoga and whatever feels good for my body that day. Coffee with Chris by the window in the morning sun, read the news and talk about the creative projects we have coming up.
CC: Coffee first.
UM: Name a few things you’ve been able to do that you never normally have time to:
AA: Connecting to friends and family around the world, it’s a strange balance of being completely isolated and also feeling closer to everyone in my life at the same time. Cooking, finding new music to listen to, and having more time to focus on my painting and drawing.
CC: Having that moment to sit down and look through my archives.
UM: In what ways is this time making you think about life and what you want out of it?
AA: I have always felt a lot of empathy for the world, I feel that even more now, overwhelmingly for humanity, and for the natural world. I think this time has made me stronger in my own expression. I want to live life with intention, love, and the freedom of being completely at ease with myself.
CC: This solitary time is making me become very aware of my own creative expression. I have always wanted to publish a book on my work, which is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. I used to find my most creative time was after midnight, now it feels like that all day long.
UM: What changes do you want to make in your life or work as a result of this?
AA: I Think rather than a major change for me, its emphasized what I already found important, and allowed me the time to think more about what I want, and not be afraid to voice it. I can’t wait to collaborate with people I admire, like this project we are doing with Unconditional. To create at my own pace, keep painting, sketching and doing things I love.
UM: What changes do you want to see in the world?
A+C: Respect for our environment, and a less disposable world. To look after each other and the planet.
Alexandra and Chris on isolationThere is a very unique energy in New York right now, you can feel the weight of the crisis, but also the powerful solidarity of the city, a new kind of humanity, and the strength of New Yorkers.
UM: 5 positive things that you have experienced as a result of isolation:
1. Working together on personal images and creative projects and having more time to shoot and explore, look back on images, and develop ideas. The moment to reconsider a picture, something that we may have overlooked.
2. Friends’ quarantine playlists.
3. Chris can make a very good dirty gin martini now.
4. Simply spending time at home together. Both of our jobs normally involve lots of last minute travel, working away from each other in different countries.
5. Great appreciation for our health and the safety of everyone we love.
Chris on isolationI used to find my most creative time was after midnight, now it feels like that all day long.
UM: What have you realized or come to understand about yourself that you didn’t before this experience?
AA: A sense of action. Growing up in Australia I have always had a strong connection with nature and our environment. So I’m using this time to learn more about the state of our world, and the urgency in which we need to protect it. I think now more than ever I want to use my voice and take action.
CC: That I’m really comfortable being in an isolated environment.
UM: What do you miss most?
A+C: Family and Friends. Being on set with a team, collaborating together. Our favorite New York restaurant, I Sodi. The spontaneity of the city, and walking with no particular plans. Hugs.
UM: If you could be quarantined anywhere, with anyone?
A+C: Exactly where we are, home together (but with an Australian beach out the back).
Alexandra & Chris’ Recommendations:
Show: “Our Planet”. David Attenbourgh
Movie: “Persona”, Ingar Bergman
Album: “Again” Colder
Book: Harry Callahan, The Museum of Modern Art, 1967
Podcast: New York Times “The Daily”
Photography by Chris Colls at Serlin Associates, Alexandra Agoston at IMG New York, Special Thanks A+C Studio