C California Style

Celluloid Hero

by C California Style

Photographer and visual artist Tasya van Ree is no stranger to pushing boundaries. Here, she flips the lens to capture her own unique style

Tasya van Ree often relies on dreams, memories from her past lives and subconscious connections to inspire her work as a photographer and illustrator. Not surprisingly, the art is just as intriguing as its maker. Beyond her stunning portraits, she’s known for her androgynous western style—think distressed denim, tattoos (some from relationships past), Wednesday Addams-style braids and, usually, a wide-brimmed hat.

Van Ree, who is half Japanese and half Dutch, was born in Hawaii and came to California in 1994 to attend Santa Clara University on a volleyball scholarship. Two years later, she dropped out of college and taught herself how to use a camera. Ever since, she has been part of a community of strong, creative women—prompting her to launch the Instagram account @WomenWithSuperpowers last year with friend and wellness expert Nitsa Citrine. The project honors their close-knit circle—more specifically, “the feminine as artist, healer, activist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, etc.”—and is now evolving into a website with more expansive visual narratives and an online store that exemplify the group’s lifestyle. (The site’s first product offering, Yin Power, is a dietary “tonic herbal formula for the feminine” made in collaboration with Sun Potion, an organic “transformational food” brand for which Citrine serves as creative director.)

The pair hopes to inspire change on a large scale. “Our vision is that through recognizing the multidimensional and extraordinary qualities within us, we can begin to embody our own influence and create shifts to benefit the whole planet.”

Meanwhile, in her own backyard, van Ree is collaborating with the nonprofit organization The Foundation for Living Beauty for a fundraising event on October 15 at Eric Buterbaugh Gallery, showcasing a new photo series of female cancer survivors and their scars. womenwithsuperpowers.com.


Photography by TASYA VAN REE.