Petra Collins (born December 21, 1992)[1] is a Canadian artist, director of photography, fashion model and actress who rose to prominence in the early 2010s. Her photography is characterized by a feminine, dreamlike feel, informed in part by a female gaze approach.[2] She was a resident photographer for Rookie magazine and a casting agent for Richard Kern.[3][4] She has also directed a number of short films, including music videos for Carly Rae Jepsen, Lil Yachty, Selena Gomez, Cardi B, and Olivia Rodrigo. She directed the music video for Rodrigo's song "Good 4 U", which as of June 2023 has amassed over 400 million views[5] on YouTube. In 2016, Collins was chosen as a face of Gucci. She has been labeled an "it girl" by photographer and mentor Ryan McGinley and by Vanity Fair and The New Yorker magazines.[2][6]

Petra Collins
Born (1992-12-21) December 21, 1992 (age 31)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma materOntario College of Art and Design

Early life and education edit

Collins was raised in Toronto, where she attended Rosedale Heights School of the Arts.[7] It was at Rosedale at the age of 15, Collins began practicing the art of photography.[8] Collins attended Ontario College of Art and Design for two years to study artistic criticism and curatorial practice.[7]

In a Fashionista feature, Collins revealed that she had hard senior year in high school, having difficulties at home lead her to routinely skip school and ultimately failing her senior year. She turned it around however, by moving to a different method of learning which pointed her in the direction that would bring her career to fruition. After entering an alternative school, she was able to connect with an arts teacher that allowed her to find the creative guidance and freedom that she needed to begin publishing work, which she did shortly thereafter.[9]

Early career edit

Collins began taking pictures in high school.[7] She met Richard Kern while assisting him on a shoot, and he became her mentor.[7] Simultaneously, Collins became a frequent subject of the photographer Ryan McGinley, and would go on to become one of his proteges.[10] Collins began venturing into the art world, appearing in shows that featured her own work, and curating shows featuring her art collective, The Ardorous. Coinciding with the time of Collins's rising success in the art world, her Instagram account was removed from the platform after the artist posted a photo of herself unwaxed in a bikini. Following the removal of her account, Collins wrote an essay for Oyster Magazine, later republished in The Huffington Post, speaking out against the misogyny which informs media depictions of women's bodies.[11][12] In 2014, Collins' first solo exhibition, "Discharge", a photo series spanning between 2008 and 2014, from ages 15–21, was hosted at the Capricious 88 Gallery in New York.[13] Collins went on to publish the photo series as a book with Capricious Publishing in 2014.[14]

Art and photography edit

In 2010, Collins created the website "The Ardorous" as an online platform for young female artists. Reacting to the male-dominated art world, the group's goal is to question contemporary ideologies of femininity and recast women in positive, empowered roles. Collins has also edited a book called Babe with a foreword by Tavi Gevinson, which is a culmination of over 30 international artists selected by Petra.[15]

Petra Collins has been featured and curated over a dozen shows since 2011, spanning from galleries in New York, to Miami's Art Basel, to shows at San Francisco's Ever Gold [Projects] in conjunction with SFAQ.[16] She is a frequent editorial photographer for such publications as Vogue,[17] Purple Magazine, i-D Magazine, Wonderland Magazine, Dazed & Confused, L'Officiel, Elle, and Love Magazine.[18] She has also photographed campaigns for brands such as Levi's, Adidas, Cos, Calvin Klein, and Stella McCartney.[18]

In 2016, Collins was named one of Dazed & Calvin Klein's 100 Creatives Shaping Youth Culture[19] and one of Vogue's 40 Creatives To Watch in 2016.[20] Collins was also named one of 30 Artists to Watch by Artsy.[21]

On Saturday, March 18, 2017, Collins collaborated with the artist Madelyne Beckles at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New York with their performance piece "In Search of Us". It was a live, 3-hour long tableau hosted on Instagram, that featured live music by JunglePussy and a set by DJ Madeline Poole. The piece draws inspiration from the 1992 Essay "Olympia's Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity" by Lorraine O'Grady. The live performance celebrates the female form as the performers confront traditional representations of the female form throughout the canon of historical art.[22]

Collins hosted her first public art piece with Contact Photo on April 29, 2017, at King and Spadina in Toronto, Canada.[23] She completed her first featured narrative film in 2021.

Directing edit

In 2015, she directed a three-part documentary series entitled Making Space, which documents and explores what it means to be a young person in today's constantly changing, hyperconnected world.[24] Other projects Collins has directed include Carly Rae Jepsen's music video for her 2015 single "Boy Problems", Cardi B's 2018 single "Bartier Cardi" and Olivia Rodrigo's 2021 single "good 4 u" and "brutal".[25] She has also directed advertisements for Gucci, Adidas, and Nordstrom.[26]

Modeling and acting edit

In 2014 and 2015, Collins was cast in a supporting role in Amazon's award-winning TV series, Transparent.[20]

Collins has previously been featured as a model in Calvin Klein's campaign.[27]

In 2016, Petra was tapped as a new face of Gucci, and walked in their 2016 F/W Fashion Show in Milan.[28] She also starred in their 2016 F/W campaign.[29]

Literary work edit

Collins' first book, Discharge, was published by Capricious Publishing.[30] The series was first an exhibition of the same name, hosted at the Capricious 88 gallery.[14]

Her second book, Babe, an art and photography collection featuring the work of thirty female artists from around the world, including her own, was published in 2015 by Random House.[31]

In a review of Babe for, Lilian Min wrote that out of the female artists producing work about feminism and sexuality, Collins "in particular has set the tone for a certain kind of introspective, dreamy, but never concealing female gaze". She called Beth Hoeckel's collages "beautifully composed".[32] Natasha Zedan of Musée described the book as "an artistic support system [...] Images like Sailor Moon which cater specifically to women are given new life as they are warped and repainted with looming nightmarish figures juxtaposed with their original renderings." She praised Clair Milbrath's photos as well as the different methods of expression throughout the collection, arguing, "These women have taken everything that has been served to them, heartbreak, pressures, and the general despair of teenage girlhood and turned it into poetry, beautiful, selective, and imaginative."[33]

In a collaboration with Euphoria star Alexa Demie, who she first met via Instagram in 2020, Collins and Demie released an erotic photography book that reimagined fairy tales from their childhood through an erotic lens. The 152-page hardbound book collected nine different short tales accompanied by images of Demie dressed up as different mythical beings, was released by Rizzoli on November 30, 2021.[34][35]

Process edit

When shooting photography, Collins exclusively uses 35mm film.[36]

Filmography edit

Film edit

Year Name Notes Ref.
2015 Drive Time Short film [37]
Adidas StellaSport – "Break a Sweat" Short film [38]
Making Space Three-part documentary short [24]
2016 Georgia O'Keeffe – Interpreted by Petra Collins Short film [39]
Lil' Yachty – "Keep Sailing" Short film [40]
2017 Hungarian Dream for Gucci Eyewear Short film [41]
Spring 2017 at Nordstrom [42]
2018 A Love Story Short film [43]
TBD Spiral Feature film [44]

Television edit

Year Title Note(s)
2023 American Horror Stories Episode: "Organ"

Music videos edit

Year Artist Song Notes Ref.
2012 Trust Heaven [45]
2015 Carly Rae Jepsen Boy Problems [46]
Blood Orange Time Will Tell Part of "Making Space" [47]
2016 Lil Yachty All In [48]
2017 Selena Gomez Fetish [49]
2018 Cardi B Bartier Cardi [50]
2021 Olivia Rodrigo good 4 u [51]
Olivia Rodrigo brutal [52]
2023 Olivia Rodrigo vampire [53]
Olivia Rodrigo bad idea right? [54]

References edit

  1. ^ "CV". Petra Collins. Archived from the original on January 1, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Widdicombe, Lizzie (October 6, 2016). "The Female Gaze of Petra Collins". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on October 7, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  3. ^ Wilson, Sophie (October 7, 2021). "The Legacy of Rookie Mag, Ten Years Later". Teen Vogue. Archived from the original on October 7, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  4. ^ Zedan, Natasha (November 23, 2015). "PETRA COLLINS: me, myself, and iphone". Musée Magazine. Archived from the original on September 18, 2023. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  5. ^ Olivia Rodrigo - good 4 u (Official Video), retrieved June 29, 2023
  6. ^ Blasberg, Derek (January 5, 2017). "How "It Girl" Petra Collins Went from Ballet to Behind the Camera". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on January 9, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d "Going back to school with teenage fashion photography phenom Petra Collins". National Post. May 19, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  8. ^ "People to Watch: Petra Collins looks through lens of next-wave feminism – Toronto Star". Toronto Star. December 29, 2013.
  9. ^ Bauck, Whitney (March 1, 2017). "How Petra Collins Went From Failing High School To Photographing For Gucci". Fashionista. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  10. ^ "Ryan McGinley, the Pied Piper of the Downtown Art World". The New York Times. November 21, 2013.
  11. ^ "Why Instagram Censored My Body". HuffPost. October 17, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  12. ^ "Petra Collins On Censorship And The Female Body | Fashion Magazine | News. Fashion. Beauty. Music. |". October 20, 2013. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  13. ^ "See: 'Discharge,' Petra Collins's First Solo Exhibition". The Cut. February 28, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Cooper, Ashton (December 27, 2014). "Art Books We Loved In 2014". Artnet. Archived from the original on April 17, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  15. ^ Collins, Petra (2015). Babe. Prestel Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7913-8103-9.
  16. ^ AnOther (March 31, 2016). "Petra Collins on Collective Crying and Celebrity Culture".
  17. ^ Wagoner, Mackenzie (December 11, 2015). "Petra Collins's Cool-Girls Club: Capturing Pat McGrath's Late-Night Makeovers".
  18. ^ a b "editorial – Portfolio Categories – Petra Collins".
  19. ^ Dazed (February 8, 2016). "Petra Collins".
  20. ^ a b Jansson, Mark Guiducci, Mikael (December 16, 2015). "Be Yourself! 44 Stars-to-Watch Wear Spring Fashion Their Way".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "30 Emerging Artists to Watch This Spring". April 13, 2016.
  22. ^ "PopRally Presents Petra Collins: In Search of Us | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  23. ^ "Instagram post by Petra Collins • Apr 17, 2017 at 3:11pm UTC". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 25, 2021. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Gharnit, Yasmeen (February 3, 2015). "Go Behind The Scenes Of Petra Collins' New Film 'Making Space'". Nylon. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  25. ^ Cardi B (April 2, 2018), Cardi B – Bartier Cardi (feat. 21 Savage) [Official Video], retrieved April 27, 2018
  26. ^ "Films • Petra Collins". Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  27. ^ "Watch: Calvin Klein's CK One x Petra Collins x Dev Hynes x Ali Michael & More – Fashion Magazine – News. Fashion. Beauty. Music. –".
  28. ^ Piercy, Mackenzie Wagoner, Catherine (February 24, 2016). "Petra Collins on Walking in Gucci's Fall Show—And How Those Fuzzy Red Curls Became Her Signature".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ Yotka, Steff (April 2016). "Petra Collins Cements Her Status as Gucci's New Muse".
  30. ^ "Discharge • Petra Collins". February 22, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  31. ^ Magazine, W (June 28, 2015). "What a Babe".
  32. ^ Min, Lilian (2015). "Petra Collins 'Babe': Review". HelloGiggles. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  33. ^ Zedan, Natasha. "BOOK REVIEW: BABE BY PETRA COLLINS". Musée Magazine. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  34. ^ Hess, Liam (November 24, 2021). "Enter the World of Petra Collins and Alexa Demie's Eerie, Erotic 'Fairy Tales'". Vogue. Archived from the original on April 23, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  35. ^ Wally, Maxine (November 30, 2021). "Petra Collins & Alexa Demie Conjure an Erotic Fantasy in 'Fairy Tales'". W. Archived from the original on January 19, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  36. ^ Lampe, Lilly (March 11, 2014). "Zeroing In On Adolescent Girlhood, Petra Collins Shoots From the Hip". Village Voice. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  37. ^ Peoples, Landon (January 27, 2015). "Petra Collins' Film Debut: Drive Time". Nylon. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015.
  38. ^ Mcneely, Jen (November 12, 2015). "Watch Break a Sweat: A film by Petra Collins for Adidas Stella Sport". She Does The City. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  39. ^ Felsenthal, Julia (July 18, 2016). "Petra Collins Remixes Georgia O'Keeffe for the Tate Modern". Vogue. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  40. ^ Mandel, Leah (July 20, 2016). "This Is What Making A Movie With Lil Yachty Is Like". The Fader. Archived from the original on July 21, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  41. ^ Stegemoeller, Kristen (February 24, 2017). "Watch Petra Collins' Dreamy New Film For Gucci". Paper. Archived from the original on September 19, 2023. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  42. ^ Paloma Parker, Odessa (April 17, 2017). "Through The Vulnerable Celestial Lens Of Petra Collins". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on May 14, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  43. ^ Nesvig, Kara K. (June 21, 2018). "Selena Gomez Made a Short Horror Movie With Petra Collins Called "A Love Story"". Teen Vogue. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020.
  44. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 29, 2021). "Selena Gomez To Star in Petra Collins' 'Spiral' For Picturestart; Drake Exec Producing; Package Being Shopped by Endeavor Content". Deadline. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  45. ^ "Trust - "Heaven" (Official Video)". Noisey. December 12, 2012. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  46. ^ Oseran, Anna (April 8, 2016). "Petra Collins On Directing Carly Rae Jepsen's "Boy Problems" Video". Genius. Archived from the original on April 11, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  47. ^ "Dance feat. Blood Orange". Nowness. July 7, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  48. ^ Jones, Daisy (August 5, 2016). "Lil Yachty Brings Out the Whole Squad in His New Video For "All In"". Noisey. Archived from the original on February 9, 2023. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  49. ^ Cirisano, Tatiana (July 24, 2017). "Selena Gomez Drops Flurry of 'Fetish' Video Teasers Before Wednesday Release". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 28, 2022. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  50. ^ Tashjian, Rachel (April 3, 2018). "Director Petra Collins on Cardi B Playing a Lush Goddess in "Bartier Cardi"". Garage Magazine. Archived from the original on November 10, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  51. ^ Shaffer, Claire (May 14, 2021). "Olivia Rodrigo Shares Petra Collins-Directed 'Good 4 U' Video". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 16, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  52. ^ Dodson, P. Claire (August 23, 2021). "Olivia Rodrigo's "brutal" MV Has Cameos From Nico Hiraga, Lukas Gage". Teen Vogue. Archived from the original on August 23, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  53. ^ Madarang, Charisma (June 28, 2023). "Olivia Rodrigo Shares Sneak Peek of Moody 'Vampire' Video". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 28, 2023. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  54. ^ Minsker, Evan (August 11, 2023). "Watch Olivia Rodrigo's Video for New Song 'Bad Idea Right?'". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on September 12, 2023. Retrieved September 19, 2023.

External links edit