Magdalena Wosinska’s California aesthetic invites us to a world of her own- raw, timeless, and free. Growing around the skate culture in the USA, her early works feature the documentation of the lives of her close friends and alternative music scenes. Brimming with the energy of endless summers, Magdalena’s maturing style is vibrant and edgy. Her use of ambient light and effortless settings transport the viewer to that exact point in time. We talked with Magdalena Wosinska about her practice.
Magdalena Wosinska realized her passion for photography as a teenager, at the age of 14. She documented all the kids while she was skating at the time. Starting with an avid observation, a few years later she followed it with attending a photo art class at school. She was inspired by her best friend’s older sister when she first picked up the camera. “She was about 3 years older than us and was this super cool artist girl who painted and shot photos. I remember walking past her room one day when visiting my friend and I saw all her art all over her room and I thought, I wanna be like her one day,” says Magdalena to SEVENTYFOUR.
Magdalena Wosinska’s photographs particularly draw on raw moments sprung out from crazy adventures sometimes edging on the extremes. When we ask her the first craziest thing that comes to her mind that happened on set, Magdalena remembers:
“I was shooting in the middle of Lake Washington in Seattle in the fall, between two moving boats. There was a little gate that was not latched all the way and when I leaned on it while shooting, I fell into the freezing water with 10k worth of camera gear around my neck. It quickly sunk to the bottom of the lake, but my biggest loss was my film camera and the roll in it that was forever gone…”
When we ask what is visually stimulating for Magdalena, her answer is simple. “People, travel, the wind, landscapes, details, moments. Life in general.”
I was photographing my dear friend’s Ethiopian Engagement when her family friend walks out in this outstanding bright dress. I ran over and asked if I could photographer her. She then laughed and said she has not done this in a long time so I came to believe she used to model in Ethiopia or was used to being in front of the camera.
What motivates you during your shoots?
“The people around me.”
Magdalena Wosinska not only photographs landscapes but she adds a human touch -the human body- in the frame. She defines the relationship between human form and landscapes as “timeless.”
THE MAGDALENA EXPERIENCE
The Magdalena Experience is a personal and intimate project of Magdalena’s. She describes that nudity is a way to showcase her eternal self without labels. For her, nudity represents freedom from judgment.
“When I started this series, I didn’t want to be judged by what I wore when I was not able to buy nice things to fit in. When you are bare you can’t tell what social class you come from, what music you like, what your belief system is, you simply are one with the composition like a statue.”
Her book projects present an intimate in memoriam of her personal experiences. She first published Bite It You Scum in 2010 and her second book The Experience Vol.1 came out in 2015. The first book focused on her travels across the world while she was playing in a metal band called Green and Wood in her early 20s. The second book comprises of her self-portrait nudes shot all over the globe.
In her latest book Leftovers of Love, published in 2018, she documented her relationships from 2004 until 2017. While starting as photographing a close relationship to her, the series eventually became a body of work. The book also features words attached to them which defines the moments in the pages. People’s eyes and faces are removed from the images, scratched out, or burned to un-identify them. Signifying a somewhat obsession with documenting human connection, which is not surprising for a photographer as herself, Magdalena underlines that “the human connection in the book is a pain in love and neither person being a victim or victor.”
Another inspiring project Magdalena works on is her renovation project “The Rebirth Of A 1935 Adobe” in which she publishes the procedure on Instagram through photos. She describes building a home from scratch as one of the most rewarding feelings ever.
“It’s like creating a painting or sculpture from scratch. I learned so much and made so many mistakes but it was all worth it. It took a lot of risks but the reward came out greater. Daily I look around, watch the sun behind the trees and I’m so grateful,” says Magdalena. She has been coming to the desert for 16 years. In 2014, she started to look for a home there, and in 2016, she found the Adobe.
Magdalena played in a band Green and Wood for many years during her 20s. She says she misses playing in a band, even thinking about starting one again soon. “It’s so fun to create with other people, locking in a rhythm and jamming till the late hours of the night, making music together is such a great feeling.”
“Music is the soundtrack to my life, it plays a huge role for me. I collect vinyl and played old vintage guitars and amps, I like to dive into all that stuff. It’s really inspiring! Here are some of my favorites:Better Days – Graham Nash, Melted Rope – Wand, and Can’t Seem To Make You Mine – Seeds.”
Who is your hero?
“My mom 100000000000%”
Mom and Dad’s last few days in our family home of 30 years. When we moved to the states from Poland, having a home was such a big achievement as an immigrant family. We had a lot of laughs and tears that were shared under that roof, we learned a lot and we grew. These last few days moving my elderly parents out was very hard, to see them leave their American dream. But it was time.
Magdalena’s upcoming projects include a mini-documentary about the Lakota Two Spirit group on the Pine Ridge Reservation, out soon, which she describes as a life-changing experience. Also, she hints that she is working on doing a project about her mother whom she describes as her hero.