Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Dark Side?

It has been a big week, and as things calm down, we should take stock of kate's role in our awakening. You see, The Force even extended into the realms of kate and fashion ... or did kate extend into the realms of Star Wars?
Little short for a stormtrooper! Image from Mac Lewis Creative in LA
Kate or the Clone Wars? Image from Luis Mejia Ubidia in Lima, Peru
Can you see her calling someone a "scruffy-looking nerf herder" when she gets off her flight?

Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.
May kate's Force be with You.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Photographer Series #25: mariashotkatemoss

Maria Sheila Miani lives with the history of fashion in Milan. She studied to be a fashion editor in both Europe and the US, has had articles published in and Vogue Italia magazine, and works for Italian blogger and fashion designer Chiara Ferragni. Maria also comments on her perception of fashion and the industry through her own art projects.

Maria's "But first let me take a selfie"
As soon as I came back from LA, I decided I wanted to reach an audience of people who share my interest for fashion. People who feel fascinated by this world, who are inspired but do not necessarily want to be a fashion designer. Therefore, I began creating personal projects, not just for my own sake, but to share with others.

iskm: How would you describe your art practice?

Maria Sheila Miani (MSM): Liberating and personal. Each of my art projects are born by ideas that I have while walking on a streets, cooking, reading. From an idea, I try to express something bigger, a feeling or a perception I have of the world.

iskm: Can you explain your Is Art in Fashioninstagram project?

MSM: Is Art in Fashion is a a series of collages. I select a famous painter (Van Gogh, Picasso, Salvador Dalì, Manet), select a number of his works and then I pick a fashion model and I insert her in the various paintings.

Kate & "Still life with melon and peaches, 1866"
iskm: How did it come to start?

MSM: One day I was doing my daily walk in my city, Rome, and I saw a poster advertising an exhibition of the famous French painter, Henri Matisse. It showed a table with a bowl of fruit and I thought that it would look cool if I put a model in the painting – a collage! That is how it started.

iskm: How do you choose the source artist and art?

MSM: First of all I pick an artist. Usually I try to choose one that interests me in that particular moment, either because I have recently studied the artist or because I see an exhibition of his work. If I feel more connected to the artist, I understand better what he wanted to portray and therefore I can choose which model to insert. I research his style, in which century did he live, to better understand his background and then select 10-15 of the artist's works.

Kate & "Portrait of Lady Gonzales"
iskm: And the choice of model? How/why do you choose the model and the artist to pair?

MSM: I always try to pick a model whose features are completely in contrast with the kind of people that are in the paintings of the artist. For instance, for Gauguin’s works, which portrait exotic women from a very primitive lifestyle in Tahiti, I chose to use Daphne Groenveld as the model. Her features are completely the opposite of Gauguin’s kind of women. She is pale, blonde, has huge lips and bambi eyes. In most fashion editorials she resembles a Barbie doll and wears very expensive clothes. For Vermeer’s paintings, which are set back in the 17th century when women wore very modest clothes and behaved in a very reserved manner, I inserted Gisele Bundchen, the most famous Brazilian model whose lifestyle is all about yoga and sports. She also has an incredible body that fashion magazines love to photograph in swimsuits and short dresses.

Kate & "The Absinthe Drinker"
iskm: How do you do then create the collage?

MSM: I open every painting in Photoshop and begin inserting various pictures of the model, each from a different editorial. I usually insert 3 to 5 images, the ones where the model seems to be interacting with the painting, before I find the one that best suits.

iskm: What was the initial pairing? How long before you came to use kate?

MSM: The project began with Lily McMenamy and Matisse then moved to Kate Moss as soon as I finished the first series. When I began the project I was living in Rome, and I would be working in my sitting room, where we keep the television. I would see Kate Moss daily, during tv spots.

Kate & "Parisienne study of Ellen Andree 1874"
iskm: Why kate with Manet?

MSM: Kate Moss and Manet together are invincible. They are both considered rebels.Manet is the father of Impressionism, one of the most important art movements that completely changed the perception of art and its relationship with reality. Even more, Manet lived in a century when women were obliged by society to behave, to wear a certain type of clothes and had limited possibilities. Kate Moss instead is a rebel, a rock and roll woman who would never follow these rules.

iskm: In your opinion, has kate also “changed the perception of art and its relationship with reality”?

MSM: I guess you can say that Kate Moss image has been reproduced so many times that she belongs to a mass media culture. It was natural that somebody would use her image to transform it, and if this person is an artist, then to create art. Especially in the digital era, when you can find tons of images of such a famous person, it is easy to take these pictures and make them yours. Kate Moss managed to create a universe around her, made of her lifestyle, personality and career path. People feel drawn to her because she has made her life memorable. I, as an artist, can see so many different aspects of her in her pictures that it is almost natural to create something out of them.

Maria's "Love Doesn't Hurt, but Betrayal Does!"
iskm: One of our favorite pieces from the series is Manet's La Muerte del Torero. Why did you use a kate playboy image for this collage?
MSM: When I chose Kate Moss from Playboy, l could see a connection between the dead torero on the floor and her, on the ground too, with a very intriguing expression. To me, in that collage, she seems worried but at the same time she has a killer-gaze. She just killed her lover, you betrayed her, and her look seems like she is about to do the same to you, if you will tell somebody. This is how my imagination works, this is how I create my collages.

Kate & Manet's "Nana, 1877"
iskm: You always reference the source artist as “he”? Have you ever worked with a female source artist? If not, why not?

MSM: I am using painters that date back to many centuries ago. I studied the history of art, and until the last century, it is really hard to think of a famous female artist. To me, it is not only to know the name of the artist, but I want to know their life and what they wanted to express through their art.

iskm: And you refer to the models as “her”. What about male models?

MSM: I won’t wait to use a female painter to insert a male model. I have not used them yet because the male fashion has become popular only recently. I can think of many famous male models, but very of them have a strong image as female models such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell or Coco Rocha.

iskm: You have used kate in other series - you had an image of her within your legolize-fashion series. Can you explain this project?

MSM: My Lego project consists in making a Lego version of the fashion world. I began by doing magazines covers, because they are so iconic and recognizable. However I recently began doing fashion campaign too. Gucci, the fashion brand, contacted me to make me be part of the second series of #GucciGram. Therefore I lego-lized their Fall 2015 campaign.

iskm: Life imitates art! How do you see the work relating to the “Is Art in Fashion”?

MSM: Both works are an expression of my imagination. Even more, it's how I like to relate to the fashion system. I believe it is a very fun and creative world from the surface but it is actually made of hard work. Which is the ingredient of my projects.

Kate & "Luncheon on the grass"
iskm: Which photographers/artists would you most want to most see involved in ishotkatemoss?

MSM: I am in awe of many artists. I think that I would really like to see how Darcel Dissapoints creates Kate Moss with his style. What I like about him is that he created this figure, and managed to create and entire world of real characters.

You can see more of Maria Sheila Miani’s imagination at and on instagram @mariasheilamiani.

And just like Manet and Maria, you too can Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.