Olivia Locher for T2.



Meet The Photographer Whose Work Breaks Outdated Laws

Olivia Locher likes to play around. The young photographer’s work is lively, tongue-in-cheek, and totally mischievous, as is she is. Her work tends to focus on the silly contradictions of every day life. Locher recently completed a project called “I Fought the Law,” where she rebelliously broke old colonial laws from different states. The pictures are bright, joyful, and often laugh-out-loud funny. They certainly seem to connect with people: Locher boasts over 72 thousand followers on Instagram. We spoke to her to get the lowdown on her photos.

In Michigan, it's illegal to paint sparrows to sell them as parakeets.
In Michigan, it’s illegal to paint sparrows to sell them as parakeets.

I know you grew up in Pennsylvania, and then you went to SVA?

I did, yeah! I grew up in a town called Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It’s about 67 mi from Pittsburgh. It’s a very small, sort of woodsy town. I got really interested in photography, so I decided to go to SVA. 

How did you get interested in photography? Did someone in particular inspire you?

Yeah, actually. My hometown, Johnstown, had a really strong “do it yourself” sort of policy, so there was a lot of local concerts, [and] local art shows. Being around a lot of inspiring people encouraged me to create something of my own.

In Louisiana it's illegal to gargle in public.
In Louisiana it’s illegal to gargle in public.

I really liked your project “I Fought the Law,” where you broke these really esoteric laws from different states. How did you come up with that?

Oh, thank you. It’s funny, I was actually photographing someone for a different project and he mentioned that it was against the law to put an ice cream in your pocket. I don’t know why, but I just kept thinking about it. I googled it one day, and I found that there’s a different silly law for every state.

Could you tell me a little bit about the project you did for T2?

It was really fun to work on. I’m not really sure how they found me, but when I was approached to do it I was really excited. I really love T2’s over all aesthetic and image.

Do you drink tea?

Now I do! I never did before the collaboration. I’m a diehard coffee person, but I love trying T2 teas now too.

In Rhode Island it's illegal to wear transparent clothing.
In Rhode Island it’s illegal to wear transparent clothing.

What are you working on for the future?

I’m really interested in showing work in the gallery setting. I’m in talks with doing an art book for the law project. That’s sort of the big next step for me.

Is there anything that you’re particularly inspired by? Anyone that you look to for inspiration?

Yeah, I’ve always been inspired by fashion. Artist wise, I like a lot of filmmakers. I really like Alejandro Jodorowsky. I also like Matthew Barney a lot.

Ah, you’re into fashion. How would you describe your style?

I myself am sort of grungy, sort of carefree.

Carefree like your photos!

All photography by Olivia Locher. Images via Olivia Locher and W.

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