Amarna Miller. Portrait photography and interview by BARTE.
The Straigh-Up series by Juan Barte are part of his long term series “Live Forever”; A soul-searching project exploring the path of art through some of Madrid’s art scene key individuals. Follow Barte’s Live Forever progress on Instagram @Juan.barte.
Formidable Mag. What was your first creative drive?
Amarna Miller. When I was little I didn’t have many friends and I found it hard to socialize with kids my age so I locked myself in my books and my imagination to create nonexistent worlds. I loved painting and repairing small objects and my parents always supported me giving me materials which expand my creativity. If I had to say one single reason why I started to be interested in creation, it’d be loneliness.
F.M. Is there a defining moment that made you realize art was your thing?
A.M. Not really. Since I was very small art has been present in my life so I never had a moment of “revelation”. When I finished school I was sure I wanted to major in Arts, and it never occurred to me to choose any other path. So much so that my second choice was Art History. Then I realized that Art School structure kills your passion instead of supporting your style and your creative impulse. If I could go back in time I would never do Fine Arts again.
F.M. Inspirational artists?
A.M. Too many! Nobuyoshi Araki, Basquiat, Keith Haring, Nancy Spero, Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin, Frida Kahlo, Willem de Kooning, Baltus, Modigliani, Ansel Adams, Avedon, Alberto Garcia Alix, Paco Peregrín, Barbara Kruger…
F.M. How would you define your work?
A.M. I’m a very complex person with many interests and very little desire to fit into a label. I am porn actress, I write poetry, I take photographs, I draw … each one of these aspects of my life are important and make what I am. But there is not a precise definition for any of them.
FM. What in you is in every poem?
A.M. Poetry is one of my great passions. What in me is in every poetry? My mazes, my innermost recesses, the parts of myself that I don’t even know about.
FM. How would you describe the relationship between poetry and you?
A.M. Writing poetry is a way to expose my raptures and certain experiences of my life that I usually don’t talk about, almost as if it was a therapy. It comes from my deepest inner self.
FM. How is a day in the life of Amarna Miller?.
A.M. No day is as the previous to me. Since I’m a freelancer I choose how and when to schedule my shootings. On a regular day I get up early, about 7 am. I eat something that gives me energy for a few hours and I get to work: I answer emails, organize my calendar, and write articles. I’m a total workaholic but I try to control myself and find time for my hobbies, such as reading or visiting museums. I also take care of our garden and feed the stray cats of the neighborhood. Yesterday I was at a talk about feminism at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles that was great.
At night I usually watch documentaries or a movie with my boyfriend while we eat dinner. I travel quite often, whether for business or pleasure. When I am at home I try to work a lot (a lot!) to make money and go travel as often as I can. It is my great passion.
F.M. What’s in your play list?
A.M. At the moment, a lot of oldies and some contemporary indie music. My “musts” are Janis Joplin, Supertramp, Credence Clearwater Revival and Hendrix. But I also listen to The Animals, Grateful Dead, The Supremes, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits… And talking about more contemporary musicians, I really like Caribou, Tame Impala, The Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Future Islands, Grimes, Purity Ring and many more.
F.M. What film is your life like?
A.M. Definitely Enter the Void by Gaspar Noe. The psychedelic mix of colors and unique adventures, plus explicit uncensored sex scenes, places this film into the number one of my all time favorite movies. I hope that my destiny will be quite different from the protagonist.
F.M. What do you love and hate about Madrid?
A.M. I love that you can walk to almost anywhere (at least compared to Los Angeles, where I live now.). There are also plenty of cafes and tiny shops to discover. I like the food and the atmosphere, people are on the streets and if you know the right places to go you can find wonderful people. I must also say that public transportation works great.
I hate pollution and traffic, and I wish there were more cultural and artistic events aimed at a younger audience. And also more concerts, please!
F.M. Best and worst night out?
A.M. My best night … Tough one! Lately I’ve been thinking when I climbed Mount Fuji, in Japan. I think that was one of the best nights of my life. We started climbing at 7 pm the previous day and spent eight hours climbing only with our flashlights while the temperature was dropping down. When we reached the 2,500 meters, I got altitude sickness, and we had to stop for a couple of hours in a shelter until I could continue. It was summer but when we reached the summit, just at dawn, it was snowing… just amazing.
A very good night happened just a few months ago. Me and my boyfriend went to New Orleans for its annual jazz festival. The festival was canceled due to a tornado alert but we went anyway. Because all the bands were already there, they started making impromptu concerts in small bars. In the midst of a spectacular storm we got into a tiny bar with just six people and heard the best improvised jazz concert ever. The waitress came on to stage and sang like a true angel.
And now… A bad night! As we were crossing a mountain pass at midnight we lost control of the car and ended up stranded in the snow. At nearly minus 20 degrees Celsius and we were unable to push our car back on to the road. It was pretty scary. Fortunately a sheriff came by some hours later and helped us towing the car.
F.M. Our motto is “A life less ordinary”, what makes life less ordinary?
A.M. Everything I do is based on being completely out of my comfort zone, I’m addicted to adrenaline! I just moved to the other side of the planet, I bought a van and my plan is to travel around the United States while I make money shooting porn and writing about my adventures. I love to diversify my activities and learn new things so I’m always trying to pursue the exciting adventures I imagine in my mind. Next thing is publishing my second book and create a YouTube channel about sustainability. “A life less ordinary” is definitely my motto too.
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