For our second TAIKAN BY, we have teamed up with photographer Mandy-Lyn, whose use of 35mm will leave you speechless. Her project features our Suede collection, in collaboration with sexuality and art. Read the full interview below.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you reside?
I’m a kind and friendly weirdo that lives in the beautiful Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia. We have more junkies on the strip than all of Detroit, Michigan.
Can you describe the time when you first realized that photography was something that you absolutely had to pursue?
I started taking pictures when I was a little kid because disposables cost a dollar and the dollar store by my Grandad’s place. It was the first thing to satisfy my curiosity, I like to stare at things I like and this made it less creepy.
Who are your biggest photography and music inspirations?
I love Elvis, Hasil Adkins, Bo Diddley. Rock and roll inspires me a lot, almost all of my favorite things have been influenced by it.
Female sexuality seems to be part of your vision with photography. Is there an underlining message that you are trying to convey or is this just a personal interest with the female body?
I am definitely interested in the female body, but it’s a romantic, metaphysical, self-discovering interest. More than trying to convey an underlying message, sort of just feeling and sharing the feels.
Tell us a bit about the movie that you are working on?
I’m working on two right now; the first is a horror movie about a werewolf Sharon Tate who eats Charles Manson alive at a Halloween party in 1994. The second film is about this club of gorgeous redneck dudes that get screwed and massacred by ferocious super babes on Harley Davidson choppers. B movies have more fun I think.
What part of outlaw biker culture has shaped your view point with photography and life?
I grew up around some real badass human beings – my Mom being at the top of that list. She had a big Hells Angel wrapped around her finger for a long time, she warped my mind in a lot of fascinating, unusual ways – she’s a real outlaw. In that way, I guess that bad ass people on motorbikes have shaped my point of view a lot, and my point of view point is reflected in my creations for certain.
Do you consider yourself a modern-day voice for the “1%er’s”? If so, why is this message such a big part of your history?
No, absolutely no. I am not presently in possession of a Harley Davidson chopper, or a club patch, or a brother or sisterhood of likeminded do-gooders on chops. I’ve lived it, I love it, I’m a supporter. I am definitely a long-haired freak who likes it loud. What does 1%er even mean anymore, I wonder – in this dang day and age?
You could hang with anyone dead or alive… Who would it be? Where would you go? What would you do?
What a fun question. I’d like to have a big French dinner with Serge Gainsbourg, then go to a strip club with him, get mangled up on china whites and porn stars, ski Mount Boom and talk about the real Brigitte Bardot, or what it was like to crush on Juliet Greco. I would love to play dress up with Elvis in the master bedroom at Graceland. Sunday morning making a proper English breakfast for Lemmy would be a dream date… or a pre-heroin day at the county fair with GG Allin. Can you imagine that guy with a corn dog? Ha Ha Ha!
You can choose three albums to listen to for the rest of your life… Go!
Hank Williams As Luke the Drifter by Hank Williams
On Parole by Motorhead
Pronounced Leh-Nerd-Skin-Nerd by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Who are you listening to right now?
Filthy Pig by Ministry! I’m an animal!
Your work has been featured by many outlets, what are you most proud of? Why?
It was an honor for me to work with Altamont and HUF, because Andrew and Keith are totally legends and I respect their skating so much. I was comically nervous meeting Keith because I used to have a poster of him on the wall of my bedroom when I was in High School. Also through Altamont, Patrick O’Dell (whose photos I’ve always loved) interviewed me one time and dang did I geek out then (shout out Gman!). When Penthouse did a focus feature on my work it was very meaningful to me – I admire Bob Guccione’s work super much, I have so much respect for the creative principles and foundation that he built Penthouse on. In the 70s, to me, nothing could touch Penthouse. It’s a huge honor that I’ve been able to touch those pages.
What does your daily routine look like? Or do you have a daily ritual?
My dog the Stoogeman usually gets the first cut of my day, but we’re living pretty moment to moment these days.
What camera(s) do you use and why?
I use a pretty basic 35mm Canon, because my Grandpa gave it to me and also it is easy to use.
Do you have a 3:00am guilty pleasure snack?
I do not eat cheese or bread but I lay in bed at 3AM and dream about stuffed crust Pizza Hut.
Tell us a funny story about yourself.
When I was 17 I was at a funny art party in LA and I accidently body checked Terry Richardson cause I had had a lot of party favors. I geeked big time. “Uncle Terry!” like he was devil his self. My pupils were bigger than dinner plates no doubt. He said “Here comes trouble” and gave me a very kind smile. Then I went outside and ralphed purple drink on a very fancy ‘living’ wall that was made of all white flowers. Lucky, I didn’t ralph on Terry.
What’s one item you never leave home without? Or one item you can always find in your Taikan bag.
Got to have the headphones to mute out the goofs.
How can people see more of your work? Website, social handles etc.
Mandy-lyn.com | @mandylyn
Thanks for looking, eh!
Mandy-Lyn at the Hollywood Bowl – Photographed by Rylan Perry
photographer @mandylyn | model @24clairetgold