Who is Ana Kras? Auburn-haired muse with handsome brows; shy and modest; a workaholic, a dreamer, a seemingly candid speaker: “What makes you pick a moment that you turn into a photograph is always a feeling. Sometimes you can feel for a beautiful thing, light that is kissing something, or a shadow that is hiding something, or it can be a person you love so you get emotional with his face or an ear, or it can be something sad, or funny. Have no clue. But since it catches your attention, […] it brings out some feeling in you” (via).
The Belgrade, Serbian artist first came to LA in 2011 to photograph musician Devendra Banhart. As the story goes, he asked her to marry him within the first five minutes of their encounter. They’re together still, and have since relocated to New York where she continues to pursue furniture design, illustration, and photography.
That Kras hails from a country whose history is marred by invasion and grew up in a climate fraught with war and political injustice makes her an incredibly resilient, if unusual, designer. Attending schools with limited resources meant developing her craft around the basics. Without fancy tools and materials to play with, practical objects emerged.
Her work is simple, utilitarian, yet always cheerful—cute, even—and finished just so, like an elegant turn of phrase. “It’s always a shy little gesture that you try to add to a basic thing,” she says. Her handmade Bonbon Lamps are housed in a simple wire frame but shaped and coloured as their name implies. (We want that soft candy glow hanging in our own living rooms, stat.) Her Hug Chair is made up of two pieces of plywood that, alone, are fragile and flimsy, but once attached form a strong seat. What do you need, what do you want, that will enable you to keep on doing what you love? Ana knows.