GABI GRECKO, Lena Nicole, Layla Sin, Penthouse Australia – April 2015
PHOTOS ROBERT WALLIS
SHE’S UNINHIBITED, OUTSPOKEN, AND YES, A BIT OUT-THERE. BUT HERE’S A SIDE TO GABI GRECKO YOU’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
“My Dad was living in Florida where he worked as a hairdresser. He developed a line of hair products specifically for people who lived in tropical climates like Miami. It was a success and he started making a lot of money during a time when coke was very prevalent in Miami. He suffered from anxiety and depression, like I do. So when he tried cocaine, it probably lifted him out of that and he tried to always have that feeling. Or rather, to not feel. Anti-depressants only help so much, but they don’t take care of the problem completely. Around that period, there was a few times I’d been to his salon and he had been severely beaten up. I’m pretty sure it was over owing money for cocaine. After one incident, he was taken to hospital and given a lot of painkillers, while at the same time withdrawing from coke. When he left the hospital, he went to his mum’s house and slept there for the day. When she woke up the next day, he was dead. “I was in middle school at the time. My mum didn’t know how to tell me and she isn’t very good at communication, so I found out about his death while we were driving to school one day. She just said, “Your father died” and let me out of the car. We didn’t talk about it or anything and I remember that I didn’t cry. I was left numb and confused for a long time and I feel that experience made me have no reaction to certain things, or have weird reactions. It definitely shifted something in me. It makes me sad that I’ll never meet him again because I’m so much like him; I definitely take after my father. I’ve been told that my drive is very similar to his. Before he died, he would do everything possible to get what he wanted and would sometimes make moral sacrifices to get it. “My stepdad is basically my hero. My stepdad was there for my birth; my father wasn’t. He raised me and he made sure that I was never in danger or in trouble. If my car broke down or if I needed anyone, I knew that I could rely on him and that really helped me growing up”
WE’VE INVITED A SELECT GROUP OF ARTISTS, MUSICIANS AND CULTURAL ICONS TO DIRECT A PHOTO SHOOT THAT DEPICTS THEIR VISION „ OF WHAT MAKES A WOMAN BEAUTIFUL. THIS MONTH BELONGS TO ARTIST AND STREETWEAR GURU RUSS KARABLIN
RUSLAN “Russ” Karablin (left) has been a made man in streetwear culture, fashion, and art for more than 20 years, since creating the brand SSUR in 1990 in response to the high demand for his paintings. By applying graphics inspired by his artwork to T-shirts, he made it possible for both consumers and collectors to own his work. Now he directs his pioneering point of view toward an erotic pictorial starring Lena Nicole and Penthouse Pet Layla Sin.
Was there any hesitation on your part when Penthouse called you about this opportunity? Quite the opposite. I was very excited about being involved in this. I’ve always been into pinups and the magazine itself. I’ve always considered myself to be pretty open-minded and liberal. It seemed like a great opportunity.
What was it about this project that appealed to you? The opportunity to oversee a production and be able to handpick the models, the location, the context; all of that. And the fact that it was for Penthouse magazine? It’s iconic.
Were you looking for something specific when you were casting models? You know, I’m pretty diversified in that capacity. There’s always inspiration, things that are appealing to me visually, sensually, and so on. Smells, sights, sounds, and tastes. A beautiful woman is a beautiful woman, and they come in all forms, so the canvas was pretty wide. There are definitely types of women that appeal to me more, but I’m pretty open when it comes to that. All-natural is the best.
What was it about Layla and Lena in particular that popped for you? They reminded me of women I’ve had in the past.
Wow … did they live up to the memory? Yeah. They were both pretty chill. Layla was cool. She smiled a lot and was pretty sporting about it all. Lena was a little more fussy, but everything turned out really well.
Did your process start with the models? No. It started with the setting. In my eye, before I choose anything else, the setting is in my head. Then come the details like two women on a bed, the relaxed atmosphere, and all of that other stuff. I had a vision of it.
What was it about this particular setting that resonated with you? I’ve often seen old photos, black-and-whites, of naked women in an opium den-like environment. It was always appealing, the way it looked. Not of this world, but more of an old-world feel.
Were you trying to tell a story, or was it more about creating a vibe? I was trying to make it visually stimulating more than anything