Born in Aspen, CO in 1976, the Ubud, Bali-based photographer, who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and whose work has been exhibited in multiple solo and group exhibitions internationally while living between London, UK and Maun, Botswana – and has published three acclaimed books, SWAMP (2016), Flamingo (2017) and Hot Damn! (2022) with GOST Books – Chloe Sells plumbs her own psychological depths only to discover what makes her love work and life.
What historical art figure would you like to have lunch with and why? I just want to go to the Roden Crater. James Turrell doesn’t have to serve me lunch, or anything, but I want the full tour on a celestially aligned day.
What did you purchase with the proceeds from your first sale? Food, I’m sure.
What words or phrases do you overuse? Shut the front door, literally.
How do you know when a work is finished? A feeling of balance and completion washes over me, whether or not I listen to it is another story.
When and where were you happiest? When each of my children was born.
What is your most treasured possession? A silver Mexican necklace of an eagle with a hunk of turquoise in the middle. It’s my talisman.
Where is your ideal escape destination? At the top of a mountain.
What’s the worst survival job you’ve ever had? Shot girl [in a bar serving shots].
What TV series from your youth best describes your approach to life? I didn’t grow up with a TV…
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My loss of memory.
What is your most treasured memory? I wish I could remember. No, really, they would be memorie(s) and they would all be in foreign lands in curious and awe-inspiring moments.
What makes you smile? My kids, rainbows, dear friends.
What makes you cry? My kids, rainbows, dear friends.
What is your go-to drink when you toast to a sale? Champagne.
After an all-nighter, what’s your breakfast of champions? It’s been a long time…but I remember mornings of steak and eggs and dirty street Phad Thai and cold pizza – always with just the right hair of the dog.
Who inspires you? His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
What’s your best quality? Presence.
What’s your biggest flaw? Not knowing when to stop.
What is your current state of mind? My state of mind is good and on the up and up – overall I feel pretty content. Thanks for asking.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Saying that I would become an artist in my childhood and becoming one.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be? A fully enlightened being. That seems like it would be an epic feeling.
Chloe Sells’ exhibition, Drugs Before Dinner, Death Before Dishonour is at Show Gallery, by appointment only, through August 4, 2022.
Cover image: Chloe Sells in her studio, photo by Price Latimer; all book images from Hot Damn! courtesy of Chloe Sells and GOST Books.