We had the good fortune of connecting with Flash the Abyss and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Flash the Abyss, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Sometimes as an artist, its hard to see from the start if your work has inherent value on a larger scale. When we started our photo series, Flash the Abyss, it was purely out of a desire to self express. Flashing my breasts had always been something I personally did in celebration and in defiance of my Catholic school upbringing. At the time we began this project, I was in the process of letting my professional career as a model take the back seat. I got into it because I was drawn to the artistry, adventure, and rebellion that I saw in it. But in my career, I felt those very same things being squashed in me. I wanted creative control and to feel liberated in my body which I had starved and disciplined for years in order to strive for an unattainable size 0. When my partner Erik, filmmaker & photographer, and I met in 2013, we were in a similar place of feeling fed up with our respective industries. Feeling burnt out and desiring to explore our true creative potentials. The first of many creative adventures we’ve had together was a road trip across the US. And this was where the first official picture was taken spontaneously on the side of the road in New Mexico. When we began to share our photos, we started receiving messages from women around the world telling us how inspired they were. In our work they saw a freedom that many had yet to find for themselves in their everyday lives. Some were from parts of the world where a woman’s naked body was, and still is, even more policed than here in the US. Some were from places in the world where plastic surgery was the status quo and they were seeking to embrace their natural curves. Women and (some men) were inspired to share their journeys with their bodies, nudity, and nature with us. In all the work I dedicate myself to, I seek to embody and empower the liberated feminine. Many people believe that the female body is inherently pornographic. Furthermore, that body visibility cheapens women and their value. But I only hear this argument when there is agency involved on the woman’s part. Meanwhile it is rarely challenged when there is a major corporation using sexualized images of a woman for capital gain. We can see how this plays out on social media where censorship of the body runs rampant and unchecked for the average women. Across the world, real women expressing their truth in their real bodies are being silenced and erased from platforms like Instagram and Facebook. This silencing impacts the trans, BIPOC, and sex worker communities disproportionately. Yet similar photos can be shared by Victoria’s Secret, or heck, even a male photographer’s page. We continue to be in a state of hyper vigilance because of the enigmatic censorship rules of social media. This epidemic mirrors the unfortunate way that we have come to treat nature at large- as something to tame and control. Through this project, I hope that our work continues to serve as a reminder that our bodies are PART of nature. And that it encourages us to continue dismantling shame, inequality, and restore the body to a place of dignity and celebration. Lastly, that we continue to heal our relationship with this Earth. This is why we choose to print with green certified businesses and donate 50% of proceeds from our prints to environmental charities. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Flash the Abyss is a passion project that continues to spark our creativity. Currently we are most excited about sharing our Lunar Series taken against the backdrop of the moon in its various phases. We have created a Lunar Calendar & Guidebook for 2021 which invites the viewer to embrace the cyclical nature of Earth, seasons, and the menstrual cycle. We hope this practical art piece increases awareness of & integration with our relationship with the Earth & the cosmos. Since Erik and I continue to do our separate work in the world, it can be difficult to prioritize this passion project at times. So its not something that we put too much pressure on to be consistent or anything other than what it has grown to be organically. But we are constantly inspired to create new material, often faster than we can keep up with! We are very proud of our growth as a creative duo. And we’re still celebrating the Divulge Dancers’ Film Festival award we received recently for our short film, Almost Home. This autobiographical dance film follows the story of escape from the expectations of Hollywood industry standards to convene with nature and the liberate personal expression.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Take a dance class with Mr Ghetto Stiletto, Apollo Sa’Deek I’d definitely recommend a Zen & Kush experience with rap priestess, Lizzy Jeff. Tease if You Please is a stunning burlesque show hosted by the incredible Tito Bonito aka the Cuban Missile Crisis of burlesque. Don’t miss the Fungineers. Ecstatic Dance La is so liberating. We’d recommend a trip to the Korean Spa for sure. And we’d eat at Wild Living Foods. La Chingona Tacos in Topanga is DELICIOUS and organic. Have drinks at Inn of the Seventh Ray while you’re up there. And who could beat a beach day?

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to Free the Nipple and EveryBODYVisible for their ongoing work to dismantle censorship.

Website: http://www.alyssaaparicio.com/flashtheabyss-2
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flash_the_abyss/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flashtheabyss
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOZm16F2ZPFKUG9RkgRtWDg
Other: Our 2021 Lunar Calendar: http://www.alyssaaparicio.com/prints?category=2021+Lunar+Calendar

Image Credits
Flash The Abyss

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.