A Hot Minute with Ciesay of PLACES+FACES
If you haven’t heard of PLACES+FACES, you’ve at least come across the Tumblr or Instagram, or more likely have seen the project’s eponymous graphic merch floating around on cultural icons and cool kids alike. Faces like Mac Miller, Sita Abellan, Wiz Khalifa, Action Bronson, and Drake have all made cameos on one extension or another of the now multilayered brand, which cut its teeth on Tumblr a few years back and has skyrocketed to legend status in the time since.
We spotted PLACES+FACES’ Ciesay (otherwise known as his DJ persona, AUX GOD) at the 1800 Tequila x Billboard event celebrating his work (alongside that of Cam Kirk and Gunner Stahl) and promptly flagged him down for a hot minute.
Your Art Basel exhibition is awesome—can you tell us a little bit about how it came together?
My good friend Des hit me up and was like, “Yo, we’re planning this event…it’s a show. We’re not sure who’s gonna cover it but I want you to be a part of it with the part that I’m planning, and we’re having Gunner [Stahl] and Cam Kirk.” I heard those names and I was like yeah, I’m in, cause those are 2 of my good friends prior to this event, so whatever he wants me to do, I’m in.
Cool. Where did the idea for PLACES+FACES come from?
I was bored, pretty much. I was in New York and I had a camera, and I was just finessing my way into all these events. I had my partner who’s here with me right now (he was in London at the time) and so when I was in New York taking photos, he was in London taking photos, and it was kinda like, ‘Where should we put these?” Then we decided to make what started as a Tumblr and called it PLACES+FACES. And that’s pretty much it.
You guys have become hugely popular in a very short amount of time…
Have we? I hadn’t noticed [laughs].
…did you ever imagine that PlACES+FACES would get so big and that it would happen so fast?
No, because it was just a blog we put our photos on, and I didn’t think it would take us this far. You know, coming to Miami, doing exhibitions and stuff like that and going to places like Tokyo to display our work. We just thought it’d be a fun little project, but it’s become a lifestyle.
How has your style and method evolved over time?
I’m more confident now. I guess when I first started I was kind of shy, and sometimes I wouldn’t take a picture because I’d be too shy to approach someone, but now it’s kind of like, I don’t have to say who I am. People are like, “Yo that’s PLACES+FACES, oh ok, let’s shoot!” So that’s how it is now.
What are you most excited about for the future of PLACES + FACES?
I’ve been working on a print magazine, and you know, more merch, more swag, more money, more paper.
Image courtesy of Cole Giordano
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