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World of Style: Siri Kaur

World of Style: Siri Kaur

by Melissa Magsaysay

The Los Angeles-Based Artist on Building a Beautiful Life and Bold Signature Style

Siri Kaur is a long way from the woods where she used to play while growing up in Maine, but somehow the same speckled light and ethereal environment she describes from her childhood exists within the contemporary home where she lives with her husband and 5-year-old son in the hills above Los Angeles’ Silverlake neighborhood.

No doubt, Kaur has an eye for gorgeous light and instinct for creating beautiful surroundings. As a photographer, she lives by it as well as all of the thoughtful objects, artwork and clothing that inspire her inform her overall style - from how she lives to what she wears each day.

With her profound creativity and prolific career, it’s a wonder that less than two decades ago, she was deep in the throes of the finance world in New York City eventually making the move to create art and live out her real passion full time.

World of Style: Siri Kaur
Mara Hoffman Dress coming soon to 11 Honoré, contact stylist@11honore.com for more information

With commissions from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and an upcoming show opening at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art early next year, Kaur’s journey from finance to fine art is as inspiring as the work she creates.

Her series, “This Kind of Face” saw Kaur photographing and exploring the world of celebrity impersonators to global acclaim. The concept of clothing as costume and sartorial armor is something that she can relate to, “I think of my clothes as my costume that I put on for the day, an armor that gives me strength and power.” She says. “Usually my style tends toward a big, bold, more-is-more aesthetic.”

Here, Kaur shares more about her World of Style and where she draws inspiration both professionally and personally.

On Changing Career Paths

I was always making and creating and photographing since I can remember. Even when I was a small kid I would take Polaroids of weird people I met around my neighborhood or traveling. The impulse to collect, observe, interpret the world around me- these building blocks of the artmaking process have always been in my life.

On 9/11 I worked right across the street from Ground Zero. Smelling the smoke, seeing the wreckage every day reminded me how short and precarious life can be, and I want to make the most of the precious time given to me on this planet! Also I’m happiest when making things, especially when taking pictures.

On Inspiration

Memories of the natural world from when I was a kid playing in the woods of Maine and Vermont are always present when I take photographs. That uneasy feeling at the end of the day when you should really be home, but you want to stay out just a bit longer. Photography for me has a special relationship with fiction, because I tend to make works that have a dislocated narrative quality where the viewer has to fill in the missing pieces of the story. Some of my favorite writers are Raymond Carver, Shirley Jackson, and Ottessa Moshfegh. In different ways their pervasive everyday American creepiness creates an atmosphere of familiar dislocation, like a faded memory of a ghost you may not have seen. I like that.

World of Style: Siri Kaur
Mara Hoffman Dress coming soon to 11 Honoré, contact stylist@11honore.com for more information
On Personal Style

As my obsession with alter egos may reveal, I think of my clothes as my costume that I put on for the day, an armor that gives me strength and power. Usually my style tends toward a big, bold, more-is-more aesthetic. Since I was a girl I’ve been obsessed with strong goddess-like figures starting with my original love, Wonder Woman. I’m always drawn to a mix of big bold graphic colors and striking prints with big accessories thrown in the mix. Forever style icons are Grace Jones, Julie Christie in Dr Zhivago, Pizzazz from Jem and the Holograms, Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita. I can never say no to a statement piece- give me a giant fake fur coat or big red boots any day! Better yet, together!

On an Average Day

As mother to a five year old, the day starts early! We get up, make breakfast together, and take the dog for a walk. After my son goes to school I usually attend a Pilates or boxing class, take my vitamins, do my skincare, journal, get myself focused on my day. Mid morning is when I really start my workday, tackling projects in my home studio, going to meetings and shoots. I’m very careful with time management because it’s easy to become distracted being self-employed and working from home, so I build playtime into my day, where I can browse my library or doodle or really just space out and brainstorm projects. Being an artist means running a small business where the product is your own creative output, so there’s a delicate balancing act between taking care of the practical details and allowing time for the dreamy creative side to grow.

World of Style: Siri Kaur
Mara Hoffman Dress coming soon to 11 Honoré, contact stylist@11honore.com for more information
On Designing her Ideal Home

We designed our home embracing the very California ethos of indoor/outdoor living. Growing up in Maine, homes are really a cocoon against the harsh elements. In this warmer climate, we can extend our lives out to the gardens and deck, and the threshold between inside and outside is much softer. My hope is that when you walk through the garden gate, you enter into an inviting sensory experience. The smell from the abundant aromatic plants such as sage, jasmine, and rosemary greet me whenever I come home. I’m obsessed with indoor plants and my vintage textile collection complements the large widows and wooden floors. I also love hanging works by my artist friends around my living space because of their beauty and because they remind me of people I love.

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