Carina: My name is Carina Shoshtary, I work as an artist in the field of contemporary jewellery/wearable art and I live and work near Munich, Germany. I was first trained as a traditional goldsmith and then studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich in the class of jewellery and objects. My earlier works were like wearable mini sculptures and I didn’t care too much about how my work would interact with the human body. The materials I used were mostly found or recycled, for instance I created several series made of graffiti paint from a graffiti wall. In the last couple of years I became more and more interested in the relationship of wearable objects with the human body and the transformation of the person. Most of my pieces are now molded to the human body or intendedly change its anatomy, so they only really come to life when they are worn.
Carina: FFBR is an Instagram feature account, on which I share the most exciting and innovative contemporary masks, headpieces, and other artworks worn on or around the head made by artists from all around the world. I started this account around three years ago after having collected images of contemporary masks and headwear for a while because I was interested in finding out if the subject was relevant in the contemporary art world. The diversity and amount of brilliant works fascinated and inspired me so much, that I decided to continue this “research” publicly on Instagram hoping it would inspire others too. The account grew extremely fast and developed a life of its own. In just about a year it became some kind of hub for artists looking for inspiration, connection, collaboration, and exposure for their work. It’s a really interesting crowd because the artists come from so many different artistic backgrounds. On FFBR the borders between art, fashion, and design get blurred and inconsequential.
About a year ago I also started the FFBR YouTube channel and the FFBRPatreon page. The idea of the YouTube channel was to make artist video portraits of artists whom I had featured already on Instagram. So far there are only five videos there, but they are definitely worth watching. Through the FFBR Patreon page and the connected chat on Instagram, we are currently developing a very supportive community of artists. I hope that together we will manage to implement further ideas. My dream for instance is to publish a big FFBR coffee table book and to showcase many of the fantastic artworks from the FFBR Instagram in an exhibition.
Carina: As mentioned I became very interested in the transformation of a person induced by wearable art objects when being worn. My pieces became bigger and I began moulding them to the anatomy of the human body. I also started making more and more masks and pieces for other unconventional areas of the body, unconventional in jewellery terms at least. This slowly led to a change in other aspects of my artistic practise too. When the Corona crisis hit, the galleries I used to work with couldn’t exhibit anymore and didn’t sell anything for a very long time, so I was forced to find other ways of earning money from my art.
Interestingly at the same time, I received more and more requests from fashion magazines, stylists, musicians, dancers, etc. who wanted my pieces for their photos, videos, and performances. My experiences with the fashion world were mostly terrible thus far. However, the collaborations with performing artists, especially musicians, became a very interesting fruitful new way of working and collaborating for me. The performers either rent my pieces for a specific event or project or they custom order a piece, which I create for them following their wishes. I stay truthful to my artistic language of course, but we develop the pieces in a collaborative process. My work then becomes part of the visual expression of their performances and I find this merging of our worlds and mediums very exciting. I do want to exhibit my work in galleries again of course, but I also want to continue this new path.
Carina: Living your life as an artist is much about finding a balance I find. With a 9-5 job, your life is clocked much of your time. As a full-time artist without kids you have to find the rhythm completely by yourself. I sometimes like to be swept away by the creative flow and forget about time, food, and anything else, but I realized that I am more efficient and healthy if I stick to a routine. Creating a balance between working hours in the studio creating pieces and working hours doing all the computer work and things for exposure has been a struggle for me lately too. It has come to a point when the making of pieces takes up hardly 50 percent of my working time, which is frustrating for me.
And creating a balance between being busy with enough deadlines, so you can stay in the flow and don’t turn on your little saboteur in the head, but also being not too busy with deadlines, so you still have time to play and try out new stuff is also a challenge. Somehow it’s always too much or too little…
Carina: My family. And for the freedom to choose what I want to do with my life.