Photographer Kat Irlin hopes to use her skills as a visual artist to create a ripple effect of support throughout New York City.
With over a million followers on Instagram and her work appearing in publications such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, Irlin invited her fans to join her outside the Flatiron building on March 8 to show their support for Ukraine through a series of portraits.
Irlin took the free photos of New Yorkers outside the Flatiron Building dressed in Ukrainian colors and encouraged his subjects to post the images in hopes of flooding social media with support for the Eastern European country. Is under siege.
“I mean, I just think you know, the more awareness everyone has, the better. I hope every little bit helps and people post and share and someone sees and this changes their mind and with some kind of trickle down effect I hope this gets to Putin in some way or another,” Irlin told amNewYork Metro.
As a native Russian, the crisis is hitting close to home for Irlin and has prompted her to use her platform to show solidarity. With friends still hiding in war-torn Ukraine, she says this is a very personal project for her.
“I am from Russia and we came here a long time ago as Jewish refugees. So, it’s kind of something that’s close to my heart, and therefore all I can do. I have people in Ukraine and lots of friends and family there,” Irlin explained.
Like many other New Yorkers who have engaged in protests and rallies since the conflict began, Irlin feels helpless in the face of the devastation from afar, so she says she’s just trying to do what she can. .
“It’s just crazy. It’s so sad to see people I know having to hide in bunkers and basements and leave their whole lives behind,” Irlin said.
One of her subjects, model Jeheli Odidi, sought to participate and have her photo taken because she strongly believes that art can have a big impact in times of war.
“I think art plays an important role in revolutions. If you look at the 70s, they use art to spread joy, peace and unity. I think art is supposed to talk about what’s going on right now and point out the hypocrisy,” Odidi said.
Irlin photographed portraits from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.