Dolly Faibyshev

Interview by Rebecca Storm

Having generated a buzz with her Palm Springs and Las Vegas sets, Dolly Faibyshev’s photos isolate facets of Americana that collectively form a caricature portrait of a colorful culture both absurd and obscene. I interviewed Dolly to ask her a few questions and to chat about people, places, and jumping into pools.

Much of your work explores some ostentatious facets of American culture. Your Vegas series seems to favour human subjects, while Palm Springs is more a documentation of place. Do you find it more rewarding to photograph people or places?

I think I used to be afraid of people in my photos, but now I like having them there sometimes. I guess it depends, sometimes people can ruin a picture and sometimes they make the picture.

Did you intentionally set out to photograph the American Dream, or was it more of an organic, gradual process?

The latter – I started out by taking pictures of what I liked, and then after a while I noticed the “American Dream” trend in most of my
stuff. I still try to take pictures with no intentions in mind, that way maybe I’ll surprise myself again later.

Color definitely plays an integral role in your photography, how do you feel about black and white photos?
I have experimented with black and white and there is so much beautiful black and white photography, but not by me! The world is
in color, and color is fun, so I choose color.

Are there any other places you haven’t photographed that you would like to explore in the same way as Palm Springs and Las Vegas?
Currently I’m photographing New York City, which is a challenge for me because I’m most inspired by new surroundings and I’ve lived here for 7 years. It forces me to try and see things I’ve seen a thousand times in a new way.

Did you have the chance to swim in the pool in the photograph?

I wish! The owner was nice enough to let me in to take pictures, I should have just jumped in. I saw the house go up for sale since then, so it might not even look like this anymore.