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Artist Feature: Lindsay Wynn

“When you allow somebody to take agency over a photoshoot, they feel empowered. The aesthetic result is always more enriching than if I was to be solely directing” Wynn says. “People often feel pigeonholed. Preconceived notions put onto all of us as a result of internal bias and sociological conditioning limit our drive to be creative. We deserve more than that. These photoshoots are meant to act as a physical and emotional olive branch to the parts of ourselves unseen by the world, each other and even in our own reflection. I want to give them the opportunity to see outside these identities and to put themselves in a different light.`

Wynn worked for over a decade in the commercial beauty world as a photographer before deciding to embark on a personal project to better connect with her photography and her subjects. “It became the jump-off for the aesthetic you see in my work now,” she says. It all started with a Craigslist advertisement, asking if anyone wanted to be photographed nude, covered in paint, maybe some other props, but more so in the particular visual style that she envisioned. It was all about light, reflection, shadow, the way these elements visually played against and harmoniously with one another. It was only until later that she realized this was a conceptual cornerstone of her work as well. Her post received several responses, mainly from older men. “People would come off of Craigslist, they’d get naked, and I’d paint their body. It was a really bizarre evolution at the beginning of this work, but it was very fun. It was really cool to empower people to come and bare it all. Express themselves with light and movement.”

At the time, Wynn was doing a lot of work with body paint, but she has always had a unique relationship with light. She was born and raised in San Diego, California. At age 17, feeling dissatisfied with the lack of empathy and support for artistic types in her learning environment, she dropped out of high school and registered at a community college. She then transferred to Pratt Institute, where she completed her B.F.A. in Painting.  “Back in my painting days, I focused on California light and color mixing. Light and reflection are all very much a part of the ambiance in California,” she explains. “That is also represented in my photographs. These are body landscapes to some degree, and we’re watching light fall across them in different ways.” Her work often features harsh elements that are diffused by something else within the composition. “Because it’s such a collaboration with the person, I spend time explaining the light sources (what it’s doing) so they can make pose and movement choices that correspond to their mood, music, whatever it may be in that moment” she explains. “These photos are about creating unique dynamism within all these, sometimes unorthodox methods. The studio light is dynamic, sometimes paired with window light or reflectors to help compliment and contrast light and shadow over the body like it would on a landscape. So, you’re looking at the skin and the folds in a way that still feels really delicate and discoverable, in a similar way you would interact with or view elements of nature.”

Wynn’s work is ultimately a celebration of people and self-expression. We are proud to display her work at Ilegal Headquarters in Brooklyn in the month where we Celebrate YOU. A selection of her work appears in the gallery below.

To learn more about Lindsay Wynn’s work visit – ILEGAL GALLERY PRESENTS – or come see it in person at 38 Greenpoint Avenue. Lindsay’s work will be displayed through September 30th, on Saturdays from 10AM-2PM.

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Artist Shahryar Shahamat at Ilegal HQ

A visual director and painter, Shahryar’s work is deeply connected to his own personal experience and human expression, with imagery taken from popular culture and contemporary media. Scroll down to see a selection of his work, along with a gallery of images from the opening event.

The gallery at Ilegal Headquarters is open Saturdays 10AM – 2PM through the August 14th. Stop by to view!

Location – Ilegal Mezcal Headquarters, 38 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn NY
Artist – Shahryar Shahamat
Showing – Saturdays from 10AM – 2PM until Aug 14th
Photography Credit – Beata Kanter

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Community Fridges

This year in the US alone, 42 million people are at risk of food insecurity; 19% of Latinx and 25% of Black children are currently food insecure.

Our impact is an ongoing discussion at Ilegal. This year we are starting the conversation locally. Through grassroots initiatives, we can help create sustainable, long-term access and support for food-insecure communities. For instance, public fridges are one way to help us get to know our neighbors, raise awareness and help feed those who need access to food.

Take action – Visit our interactive map to find the community fridge nearest you.

Learn more about and support our community partners – Humans4, Los Patojos, No Us Without You, and Team Brownsville – who do amazing work within their communities 365 days a year:

Love Your Neighbor,

Ilegal Mezcal

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Events Intro

From our founding, Ilegal Mezcal has strived to build the sort of community & environment that Café No Sé, the birthplace of Ilegal, has long provided artists and musicians.

Since the start of the pandemic, in order to keep our friends, families, and partners safe, we have cancelled large scale, in-person events and introduced new virtual programming. We are in this together, and we look forward to bellying up to the bar with you again soon.

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Ilegal Mezcal Recipes

Handcrafted in small-batches, Ilegal Mezcal has a beautifully balanced profile, with a mouth full of agave and a hint of smoke. A unique and complex taste for those who enjoy sipping spirits like tequila, bourbon, or craft gin.

While our mezcal is perfect neat, it is exceptional in cocktails – originals and reimagined classics alike.  Check out our signature mezcal cocktail recipes, and try Ilegal as the base spirit in a Mezcal Margarita, a Mezcal Mule, or your favorite cocktail.