A little taste of the as-yet-untitled book Chrissie is currently shooting with model / muse Charly Brown:
Photographer @ XRay Doll
I spoke to XRay Doll’s photographer Chrissie Hall about aliens, going naked for Spencer Tunick, the future of XRay Doll – and the 15 heads hidden below us...
CH: I’ve got like 15 heads underneath where we’re sitting now. I didn’t want to leave them in my garage, so I brought them here. I brought a whole big bag yesterday, no-one saw me. And no-one will ever know that it’s a bag of heads.
LJ: Is that what you had in the boot of your car (the other day)? That’s so creepy, you had a bag of heads in the car…
CH: Yeah. I can’t wait to use them.
Chrissie Hall is obsessed with Doll Parts. Heads, eyeballs, and decomposing doll babies pop-up in her exhibitions, films and photography. Their presence is a recurring theme in her art, so it comes as no surprise that they worked their way into the name of her new (ad)venture, XRay Doll.
LJ: You’ve started the company with Waz (Wassim Bazzi), what are your backgrounds?
CH: Well my background is filmmaking, and Waz’s background is in graphic design. When I got back from the UK, I met up with Waz and we started working together doing a lot of shoots for submissions for magazines. And from there, it’s like, “we’re doing all this amazing work – why don’t we join forces?” So we did, and XRay Doll was born.
LJ: What inspired you to be a photographer?
CH: Through high school, we didn’t have photography, but my friends and I had this toy alien, Yidda, and we’d go round taking photos, documenting Yidda’s adventures on camera… Aliens are a massive inspiration.
LJ: What were some of your early influences?
CH: I loved David LaChapelle, and TV shows like The Head, The Maxx, Aeon Flux, Strangers With Candy… I was so into that show when I was young. And Ænima by Tool – the cover with the holographic eyeballs, how it moved… I absolutely loved that. I’m inspired by things that are colourful, interesting, dark. Dark yet colourful.
LJ: You’ve done a lot of shoots over the years – do you have a favourite place to shoot?
CH: My favourite place was in a dinosaur park in London, called Crystal Palace. It was so surreal, shooting by these massive dinosaur statues. I shot on infrared film, which makes all the greens red, and that was just so amazing. Get some coloured infrared film people!
LJ: You must have had some amazing experiences on shoots over the years…
CH: Actually, my favourite experience would have to be working with Spencer Tunick. I got to assist him on the shoot, and be in his installation as well. It was such an awesome experience. Because everyone was naked – you felt like everyone was all the same. It was just… really free. Fashion is a massive statement of who you are, and with everyone naked no-one knew what kind of stereotypical person they were…it was interesting because everyone was just, nothing.
LJ: So you’ve released a book and done quite a few exhibitions over the years; will this feature in the future of XRay Doll? Are there plans for exhibitions?
CH: We will have heaps of exhibitions! We want to do exhibitions and movies and short films. We want to make the whole XRay Doll experience really interactive, so it connects to different genres and people and ages throughout the world.
LJ: Speaking of future projects, I’ve heard you’re in the middle of shooting a new book with a model who appears on the website, Charly Brown. Can you tell us a little about it?
CH: Charly, she’s my muse! She’s XRay Doll’s muse. I can do anything I want with her creatively, and she loves getting into character. We’ve been shooting now for four years, and so I thought why not start collecting all our imagery and make a book together, and just make it really conceptual and artistic. With each page you dive straight into a story, whether it’s an alien abduction, exploring caves, shooting lasers from your head, whatever. Shooting for the book has been a lot of fun, so I think it’s going to be quite playful.
LJ: You’re obviously attracted to the weird – is your work about exploring the subconscious, or just a desire to do something different and challenge boundaries?
CH: With my work, I want to delve deeper into that subconscious or that dreamscape world…I just find it fascinating. Making images weird and pushing that boundary is a way of making everything interesting. And I really want to go further into that world. I got involved with XRay Doll to be really creative, and explore that element of my work, and push it further. Because I think people need to see interesting things now to get noticed. Not so much shocking, but creative. ‘Cause if you’re just shooting something that’s normal, no-one’s going to take notice.
See more of Chrissie’s work at:
All images © Chrissie Hall Photography
The XRay Doll team had the pleasure of attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia in Sydney this week.
We were especially keen to see Collecting Pretty Boys first runway show – the Lilith & Valkyrie collection is out of this world. Their floaty, futuristic designs turned models into ‘naughty nuns’, and brought an element of daring to fashion week. Definitely a label to watch.