theprintatelier A conversation with actress Rachelle Lefevre
TPA: What role does art play in your life?
RL: My father was an English teacher and my mother a psychologist so my first love of any art form was actually the love of words. The talent great writers have for tapping into shared human experiences or describing foreign places made me feel somehow connected to complete strangers or that I had been to parts of the world I’d never traveled to. Since that early discovery I have always been fascinated by an artist’s ability to allow us to transcend our own experiences and see through the eyes of the other.
TPA: What has been a seminal experience with art?
RL: The first time I recall having an experience from a photograph was in high school. A girlfriend and I wandered into an exhibit and it was there that I saw my first Herbert List photograph. It was a black and white still of a young man on a beach in Greece, taken decades before I was even born. Standing in front of that photograph I began to feel how I imagined List might have felt looking at this young man. He was muscular with chiseled features and even in black and white you could tell he was tanned.
At first, I simply thought he was handsome but after a few moments in front of the photo I suddenly saw him as much more- as an Adonis, something to be admired, coveted and longed for. It wasn’t until later that I would learn List was gay but even without knowing, in that instant, I understood his desire for the man; through his lens I was able to experience the sexually charged moment that produced that singular image.
TPA: Do you still have an appreciation for photography today?
RL: My appreciation for photography has grown steadily since that day and through the work of greats like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Herb Ritts, Ansel Adams and Annie Leibovitz, I am continually moved by the art of the photograph. I am always in awe when a photographer succeeds in doing the miraculous- conveying to the viewer not just what is there but what they see.