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KMOSSED, COLLAGISM & SPIDERCHAVS pt. I

In 2008, I began an internship working in a gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Jack the Pelican Presents. It was there that I met the towering and talented Aussie Rosie Kavanavoch, who at the time was going by the name RUSSIA.  Her otherworldly look quickly landed her various modeling gigs where she began to gather her experiences that were later cultivated for her art and her exhibition KMOSSED at CityLights Projects in Melbourne.  Her eye, body and spirit has always straddled the line where fashion and art fuse. However, through her art Rosie seeks out the unclaimed darkness, the interdependence of that line “between superficiality and depth.”

Fellow Aussie and artist, Holly-Anne Buck sits down with Rosie for the first part of this interview. Buck’s multidisciplinary work has been shown widely around the world.  Since working in London she has created Collagism as a vehicle to explore collage and further her quest to collage the universe. Holly-Anne has been exhibiting her work in London, most recently producing large-scale collage installations at Apiary Studios, Hackney and recently exhibited at Someplace (Berlin), and Anna Pappas Gallery (Melbourne). In 2013 she exhibited at Conduit Arts Initiative (Melbourne), Art Athina (International Contemporary Art Fair of Athens) and The Vestibule (London). Holly-Anne works in her Studio in Redchurch St London and her recent show Eggs, Legs and Silk Webs was named in Top 5 Exhibitions in London August 2013 by The Whitechapel Gallery’s First Thursday Exhibitions Program.

ROSIE KAVANOCH: Why do I have to be first?

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Because you’re taller.

ROSIE KAVANOCH: Damn.

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Ok so, what’s Kmossed?

ROSIE KAVANOCH: I invented Kmossed in 2007. I just graduated from art school and was partyin’ really hard. Art and Party was the equation that translated into my first solo show – KMOSSED.

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: (laughs) Ok…..I’m not getting anywhere. Does the word KMOSSED, the start, the middle, then end and perhaps beyond, have anything to do with Kate Moss?

"KMOSSED Lightboxes" 2007, Citylights Projects, Melbourne AUS

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: YYYYeah it does. As I said, we were partying hard at the time, and so was Kate. She’d just been busted for doing cocaine and was still so cool. Of course. Plus we were definitely  cool. Kmossed meant “Partyin” with style. I debuted KMOSSED at Citylights Projects in Melbourne, AUS, which featured on T.V as apart of the Lonely Planets Blue List of the Top 10 Cultural Attractions of 2007. The show was a hit and Kmossed was born!

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Tell me more! Tell me more!

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Oh Gawd…, Kmossed has always been a question, a cause..and a challenge! A typical KMOSSED work makes the case for the ongoing pleasure in the physicality and history of myself….

Personally, it’s my challenge to do what I want in life and do it really well, usually functioning best when criss-crossing the multidisciplinary continent like a comet…..!

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK:With style of course!!!

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: YES!

Quirky installations hang with vogue rafters. Heels shoot up next to legends. Spider bites equal dizzy heads, Roving beauty spots crawl over favourite body parts, lethal riches salute in their own romance, power dresses are in pain and EVERYONE has mouth to mouth. There’s a message in there somewhere! It’s my chaos theory in my art market, the memory of nylon, the burns on hands and knees…

Whether it’s really a label, a SpiderChav, a clubbers guide, a brushstroke of a lover, a snapping of the auto paparazzi, an ethos, or an improvisation, its here to stay!

"Silk Scarf," 2013 1 x 1m, Spiderchavs

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: How has KMOSSED evolved since that very first show?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: It grew and fast! I wanted it to be everything, to touch everyone. I think I even had a wand at one point! (laughs). Suddenly it was no longer a reflection of “partying”. It was purely to do with (my) art practice, and a way of being.

HOLY-ANNE BUCK: Kmossed sounds extremely narcissistic, friendly, caring AND sharing! It’s  creative, sexy, broke and a pressing release on the WORLD.  It’s a one man collective, started by myself, but everyone is welcome, everyone gets involved…

KMO$ED, 2007 110 x 90cm

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: You were told around this time KMOSSED started, back in 2007, you were meant to meet me.

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: YES I was! I think it was Andy Mac, the director of CITY LIGHTS and UNTIL NEVER Galleries. He saw you in my work? (Laughs).

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Exit 2007, Enter 2012, London, UK, Mere Coincidence ?!?!

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Ah yes our mutual friend Fintans’ night Mere Coincidence on the first Friday of July there we both were in the deep east end. The liquor  (well, mine anyway) had just run out and in you walked with a bottle of  expensive champagne. I liked you instantly!

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Thank god for Mere Coincidence, and Champagne!

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: And you! Just for the record, I would have talked to you without the bubbles! But it was a nice touch, and nice timing!

Holly-Anne Buck "Jamais Vu," 2013, Paper Collages/Giclee Prints, Editions of 5 Exhibited at Anna Pappas Gallery for Project 13

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Before London there was New York…?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Yes. I looked around one day and was bored. So I packed my bags and went to New York. Everyone kept telling me I needed to be there, so in the end I just packed my bags and went. I felt cramped in Melbourne and craved the, I don’t know…  international stamp of quality or something. I worked at Jack The Pelican Presents Gallery in Williamsburg.   JTPP was an internationally recognized gallery with a lot of heart and innovation. It was there I met lovely Anneliis, who started Artist for Artist. Through tHE JPPP family and the New York art scene in general I met new art, new artists and new beliefs… They took me in and opened up my eyes…..and put me to work – (laughs). One minute I would be drilling fire into a wall, the next I would be spoon feeding a doll’s house paint bombs, the next I would be mothering an electric beaver back into good health! It was a  very cutting edge environment, very conceptually driven, and VERY PLAYFUL. I loved every minute of it.

Rosie Kavanavoch "The New York Der," 2010 80 x 120cm

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Playful? YOU?! Your work revolves around the playful and provocative world of fashion. Your references are quite specific – to a certain theme and sometimes text…

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: I do a lot of research and planning. There is always a friction between surface and depth. I try to tap into that darker circumstance and comment on the danger of fanatical celebration in fashion and art.

HOLY-ANNE BUCK: And your ongoing fascination with the brand CHANEL?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Ha ha! Chanel is my muse. In ‘Cover Up, it’s  2013’ a masked lady takes her Western nakedness of the fashion enterprise….

HOLY-ANNE BUCK:For a stroll?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH:The leash she wears…

HOLY-ANNE BUCK: The leash she holds…

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH:The danger she faces

HOLY-ANNE BUCK: The damage that stays…

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: With fashion I see darkness. The interdependence between superficiality and depth – that’s what I find fascinating.

HOLY-ANNE BUCK: Smell the Reality roses?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH:As for the LV Stephen Sprouse Roses – they are my stamp of the summer!

Rosie Kavanavoch "Cover Up, its 2013!" 2013 83 x 60cm

I have always found fashion at its most beguiling when it offers up some kind of narrative. I use photography in the art I make, but I also have a real fascination with text. These two interconnected roles really help define my style. I am in the early stages of my career though, so perhaps its something to do with wanting the audience know EXACTLY what I am saying… Art is a lot about working things out…and leaping with faith. If I’d worked it out, then what’s the point?

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Can you give me a few examples of your artwork with text present?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: “Become a lotus Eater, but first, find out what one is.”

“Hit em where it hurts. Go for the cute button.”
“Can’t you see I love pretending to be in Pain.”
“Im bored, but at least my tits match my necklace”
“See my roving beauty spot. It’s like a slow motion insect, crawling over all my favourite body parts!”

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: “Two bats catchin’ up on the dark news!”

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Now you’re talkin’!! We both have the same dream about throwing the same thing out of the same window!

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Do you consider yourself a “fashion person?”

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: (Laughs) Do I look like one? No, the thing about me is: I identify with fashion but I don’t actually consider my self a fashion person, but more of an artist.

Rosie Kavanavoch "Breaking Silence (black)," 2010 108 x 90cm

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Aha ahem, neither us are right? LOL. Is there a specific, or not so specific process involved with your art making technique?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Fearlessness. I will do whatever it takes to get my idea and dream out into the world at their most powerful. $$$ is always a problem because I hate downsizing dreams, but that ends up being part of the creative challenge. There is usually a multidisciplinary action packed process into transcending this dream. Unfortunately, I wagged most of art school, so when the aesthesis become demanding and I need to make a ‘dream come true’ via Photoshop, I call my friends. But, I am getting better!

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Installations play a big role in your exhibitions so far…

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: I really like to set the scene, to make a world with its own language, rules and aesthetic. When it comes to visual landscape I have a deliberate disregard for natural perspective or scale.

Rosie Kavanavoch "Grow Up (The Right Way)" 2010 80 x 120cm exhibited in "The World of KMOSSED" at Until Never, Melbourne.

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Large and in charge?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: If you’re going to do it – you may as well overdo it….

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Tell me more about your unconventional use of media Whats the drive??

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Makeup, jewellery, lipstick, nailpolish – they have has always been an artistic thing for me. Life as art has always been the nature of my personal choices; I need to feel connected with the actual texture of something.

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: You have just spent 2 years in London, what the hell did you get up too?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: HAHA! – a LOT. London is a NON-STOP city, after 2 years there you meet A LOT OF PEOPLE and swallow A LOT of information. I arrived and stuck my paws into as many pies I could possibly find. I ended up being PA to jewellery designer Jordan Aksill. I also worked for RANKIN for a few months at his gallery in Kentish Town. When I wasn’t doing that I was SpiderChaving around East London, and keeping up to date reports using digital media @ Kmossed.com. It’s my online hang out where I speculate, commentate, share my adventures, transaction, sightings and bitchings of the real world, and my make-believe world.

Rosie Kavanavoch "Hot Head Happiness" 2013

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Sounds like a MOTEL ROOM!

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: (Laughs) Sometimes it is!

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: How did you end up working for Jordan Askill?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: When I moved to London I bumped into Jordan at the pool. He admired the rings on my fingers (Melbourne jeweller Marcos Davidson) and we bonded over our love of Elizabeth Taylor. Anyway, he went to NYC and I went to Romania and I got back and called him, and he had broken his hip – like, the day before! “FUCK!! I said.  Ok! I’m definitely coming to help you out. So I did. It has been such an adventure, such a journey, London Fashion Week, then Paris Fashion Week, with black crutches and parties and no sleep and jewels and way too much luggage, as always. Jordan and I joke, “We will always have Paris”.  He always puts his vision on the line and flies in the face of convention. He is one of those rare creatures that remains unfazed by the whole fame thing, which I find really admirable and endearing. He just wants to make jewels! Abby, a mutual friend who works for DAZED once described him as “An angel that fell out of heaven and into the earth.” I will always stick to that.

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Has Jordan been a big inspiration for your jewellery design? It’s pretty fab!

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: HAHA! It keeps breaking! I am making it out of clay though.

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: I love the ‘HOLLY-TRAP’ one you made me…even if it only lasted 2 hours! (Laughs)

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Um..Well I’ve always loved jewels and accessories and have incorporated them onto my clothes and art since forever. My sister gave me a plastic pink-hearted chandelier for my birthday once, but it didn’t stay a chandelier for long. All I could think was, ‘wouldn’t that be a BRILLIANT necklace! An earring!’ Working for Jordan has definitely been a huge inspiration; he is the one person that taught me anything is possible, and right now I am focusing on my 2nd jewellery collection. It’s on the tip of my world and I feel like it’s now or never!

Rosie Kavanavoch "Leg Lips: Staying Power," 2013

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Tip of the ‘World of Kmossed’ or the ‘World of Rosie’ ?
Both! I’ve decided to confuse the world! There’s the Lacquoix Eat Your Gingerbread-esque heart out style, then the stuff you would rather wear..than..um, eat. Can you guess which is which? (Laughs).

(Laughs) You have just begun your “Return to Oz” faze, too…..? Jewellery, Art, Writing? Doing what you do best? WHAT IS NEXT?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: Since returning, I am working something big and top secret with a MERGE of jewellery, photography and religious iconography– the resurrection of KMOSSED, I guess I will call it for now!

I will, however, be continuing the Kmossed (legs)acy with exhibiting, and expanding its digital presence, with a art trip to New York planned later in the year with SpiderChavs.

HOLLY-ANNE BUCK: Is KMOSSED apart/gonna be apart of global slang?

ROSIE KAVANAVOCH: It already is! Same with SpiderChavs. Same with Collagism.

Collagism and Spiderchav "FREE PUSSY RIOT"



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