Name: Abdul Kircher
Swank: model and photographer
Take a peak: abdulkircher.com
Besides being insanely awesome, what do Mila Kunis, Wentworth Miller, Kate Bosworth and Christopher Walken all have in common with this week’s cool kid? Heterochromia Irids, or, to put it simply, two different colored eyes. Coming from a super fresh artistic family—his grandfather Andora is a beloved pop artist—17-year-old Berlin born slash New York City transplant, Abdul Kircher, is making a name for himself in the world of photography and modeling. In this week’s Family Swank, Abdul sheds light on the common misconceptions tied to modeling, his eclectic grandpa, and Turkish Silvers.
Mass Appeal: You’re like a racial chameleon. Depending on the angle, you can be from almost anywhere. Where are you from and how has that place help shape the person you are today?
Abdul Kircher: I’m German and Turkish, born and raised in Berlin, Germany. I moved to New York when I was eleven years old. Going to school in the city has definitely shaped the person I am today. Manhattan is so full of people and opportunities: it’s perfect for any young artist.
MA: One of the first things people notice about you is your eyes: one is blue and the other brown. I’ve heard that in some cultures people believe that people with two different color eyes are descendants of djinns, or spirits.
AK: When my mom was eight months pregnant with me, she saw a homeless man in the train with two different colored eyes. She told me that he was one of the most beautiful men she has ever seen; one eye was green and the other blue. In Turkey, it is said that if you wish really, really hard for a trait that you want your kid to have, that wish will come true. Unfortunately, I was born with two bold blue eyes. But, around the age of 1, my eyes changed colors one day to the next—one blue, one green. I still don’t know the reason for my two different colored eyes, but to this day, I still thank that homeless man in the train.
MA: How did you fall into photography?
AK: I think my interest in photography started because of Tumblr; the amount of diversity and creativity on the site really is inspiring. But in the end, I really owe it to my good friend Prince Franco, who introduced me to film photography, and Douglas Perrett of COACD, who has helped me find purpose for my work and has supported me along the way. Without such good friends, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
AK: My grandfather, Andora, is my favorite artist. He started from scratch and has become one of the most successful artists in Germany; his work is impeccable. He uses everything around him to help with his paintings: shredded money, fire, stickers, post stamps, etc. But he really inspires me when it comes to his determination. He’s 54 years old and is still pursuing his dreams as an artist and is not planning on stopping anytime soon. He shows me that art doesn’t have an age and is timeless.
MA: Aside from photography, you also model. Which do you like better?
AK: I’ve always thought modeling was fun, but I’m going to have to go with photography. It’s my escape from reality and an outlet for my creativity. I have a hard time expressing emotion so I do it through my pictures. Put a camera in my hands and I’m unstoppable.
MA: Finish this sentence. America _____
AK: Is full of fearful dreamers.
MA: What do you think is the biggest common misconception about photography and modeling?
AK: Everybody thinks both of them are so easy. Of course anybody can snap a photo, but it takes a lot more to make something out of it. Lighting, subject, and editing are all key parts to creating a great photo. The misconception with modeling is that people just think that we stand in front of the camera and look at it. One of the hardest skills to learn was definitely how to move in front of the camera. It’s not as easy as it sounds; it takes time to feel comfortable in front the camera. My tip is to always have a good connection with the photographer because you will be more comfortable with how you move and won’t be scared to show certain emotions in your photographs.
MA: What is the one word that defines you as an artist?
MA: When people look at my work, I want them to _____________.
AK: See and feel things they haven’t before, but still feel connected to it.
MA: Three things you can’t live without.
AK: A camera (doesn’t matter what camera as long as I can catch moments), my mom, and a pack of Turkish Silvers. I don’t smoke; I just always have a pack on me.
MA: Favorite quote or motto?
AK: In his song “The Last,” Childish Gambino says, “I’m here for a good, not a long, time.”