Actress, director, and cinematographer, Erin Naifeh, is primarily known for her work on Hereditary (2018), Stoker (2013) and Blindspotting (2021). Portion was fortunate enough to connect with them and learn some refreshing perspectives and insights into the world of art, identity, photography, and film.
Hi Erin, its such a pleasure to have you as a Portion featured artist! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and expand on your journey of becoming an artist? How would you describe your artistic style and what makes you “different”?
I believe I am so beautifully multidimensional like all of us are. It’s a miracle.
But to answer the question logically, I’m a photographer, director, and visual artist living in Los Angeles, CA. I’ve been involved in the arts since my earliest memory. My parents bought me a video camcorder when I was 12 and I knew it was the beginning of an incredible journey for me.
As for my style, the art that comes through me is under the surface. I explore what’s hiding behind the curtain. I’m drawn to mystery. I’m drawn to desire. I love questioning “why’s.” I love walking into the night. Into the unknown. Into the things that hide. And I love putting my arms around them and carrying them into the light.
Wow, I love the way you described your style. Translating that into the many films you have contributed to and/or directed, which one has been the most memorable to you and what have you learned from the experience?
The first thing that came to my mind was a video I did recently. I’ve been learning and practicing to connect to the spirit realm and the higher vibrational dimensions. I asked the high-dimensional beings and angels that were experts with storytelling to watch with me while I edited this video. I asked them if they would assist me during the process. I stayed the excellent vessel and allowed myself to be in awe of the magic and in a deep appreciation for their support. It was truly an incredible experience. I’m smiling so big right now. It all came together in such a beautiful flow. The whole process felt light and at ease. I remember being so blown away by the choices for the edit because I knew they were helping and giving me suggestions. I’m so deeply thankful.
How did you find your way into NFTs and crypto? What do you see as the next opportunities for creatives such as yourself in the NFT space?
I heard about NFT’s from a friend back in December 2021. I’ve been taking my time doing research. Portion has been the only platform that I felt drawn towards. I’m so happy to be here. I feel as if the opportunities are going in an expansive direction for everyone and I’m so excited for what’s to come. I’d love to create some kind of film project (either movie or a series) in the metaverse. It would be wonderful to have a rotation of artists be a part of it. Something where it’s run by the people and not just the studios. We’d be creating a community where the narrative is more open.
We're ecstatic that you're riding this journey with us! In terms of NFTs, why did you choose these 6 as the first pieces to mint on Portion? Why is it important to you that they are here as NFTs?
It just felt like the right thing to do. It’s interesting that the open call is centered around identity because my work is predominantly self-portraits. I use a part of my identity which in this case is my body as an instrument to create a feeling. It’s as if there’s an identity simulation happening outside of the photography, outside of the open call about identity.
Photography has a very rich history from film to prints and now to a digital revolution. When composing your photographs, where do you find inspiration? What artists, current or past, do you find to have informed your practice the most? How?
I find the most inspiration from just being in awe of life. I find it in doing hypnosis, meditation, and channeling. I find it in having a beautiful relationship with Mother Earth. Most of the time, photo compositions come through when I’m about to fall asleep or when I’m in an alpha brainwave state.
Also, one of my favorite poets is Brooke Solis. Her writing makes me fall in love with you, myself, and everything. Her words and her stories make me feel a deeper connection to the art that I create. Her writing is an inspiration.
Your composition process is very admirable! As a bigger picture question, what do you want from the art world? What drives you?
I have to ask myself instead, what does the art world want from me. I believe it wants me to continue to be an excellent vessel. So that it can communicate more clearly through me and I can take inspired action to bring it into the physical world.
That is such a refreshing perspective to look from! Lastly, in correlation to our photography collection, what is identity? How do appearances, beliefs, and expressions influence our perceptions of the world?
To me, identity is a word for the left brain. It's a word that has been used a lot. Maybe too far in one direction? I think to some extent the ego needs to know there’s a box. And that’s totally ok. I believe we need that to survive in this physical world. To know there’s a ground. But I do believe there’s a beautiful balance between understanding identity from the earth self and from the spirit self. I love this question and I plan to explore it more after this interview.
Beliefs influence everything. There’s even research being demonstrated that there might not be an isolated objective reality. It’s fascinating. It means our perceptions are infinite. Infinite seeing. Infinite learning.