“Untitled (Clothes on head)”, (2008)
Miami based photographer, Lee Materazzi, graduated with honors from Central Saint Martins College, London, in 2004. Since returning home to Miami in that same year she has worked for real estate magnates and prominent collectors Martin Margulies and David Lombardi as assistant to the director of both the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse (591 NW 27th Street, Miami FL 33127) and Museo, a high-end art storage facility scheduled to open in Wynwood next October. On her own time she has built a solid reputation as a talented and prolific photographer and enjoyed a number of successful solo shows. The most recent of which, In Between Places at Spinello Gallery, closes on June 7th. A queer mix of staged and impromptu elements the original and bizarre works currently on view feature models with their heads obscured, either embalmed in clothes or swallowed up by walls and floors. Why? Perhaps one of the many friends and artists that model for her can provide some insight. Or perhaps the key lies in understanding how this intrepid young shutter-bug lathers up.
So, Lee, would you happen to have a shower or bath at home?
I have a bath.
You just have a bath?
There is a shower within the bath.
But you don’t use it?
No, I use it sometimes.
But you prefer a bath?
I take showers in the day and baths in the evening.
Then which do you prefer?
I prefer showers in the day time and baths in the evening. When I take showers in the day I use completely cold water, and when I take baths in the evening it is with completely hot water.
If you had to choose between bath and shower from here on out, what would you chose?
Is it the steam? The ivy tile stencils? The wrinkled fingers? What is it about baths?
It’s about submersion. And you can infuse the water with so many things where as a shower the water just comes and goes, you can’t work with it.
Especially if it’s cold!
How much does your bathing impact your daily routine and your work?
Its relaxing; a form of relaxation.
If someone told you that you could never have a bath again what would you say to them?
I would be pretty disappointed, I’ve never lived anywhere that didn’t have a bath – it’s a pretty critical element
So you use baths primarily to relax?
Yes, to stop and take a break. I think if you can do things that make you completely stop what you are doing and completely meditate it’s a great way to start a fresh. I think showers are more for people on the go. I think a large part of having baths is being a home person. When I think of cities I think of showers. Its more urban, people don’t take their time. Although when I lived in a city I was really into taking baths.
Don’t you live in a city now?
Yes, Miami, but it’s not a metropolis like London.
You mentioned infusions. Can you tell us a bit about your routine?
Hmmm, I probably have a bath every night. I like chamomile and I use a wash cloth and sometimes a bath scrubber. Sometimes I play with lavender sometimes eucalyptus.
Low light, candles, harps?
Yes, well, on occasion candles but most of the time low light.
How long do you typically spend in the bath, in one bath, how long would a normal bath last you? – Sorry, we’re a little nervous!
That’s OK. I would like to say longer than they actually do, but a lot of the time I get bored and get out. It’s the relaxing part, sometimes it hard; sometimes it’s easy, the more relaxed I am, the longer I stay in.
Do you take friends into the bath with you?
(Coughs) Not that I can remember.
I mean like a rubber duck?
No, no friends. I did pose for a friend in the bath once, but he wasn’t a duck.
Do you have any interesting facts about baths or tips for other bath users?
It’s worth taking the time.
And what would you say to die hard shower stallers?
I am proud to say I have converted people.
Charming yet evasive, beautiful yet brief, and with a lingering hint of chamomile, Lee Materazzi is in general not an easy chick to lather up, let alone condition! Her routine speaks to a self sufficiency and composure seldom found in one so young and it is inspiring to know that tranquility is possible even with significant pressures from both work and art.
On the whole the profundity of Miss Materazzi’s ablutions were so appealing that her dealer, one Anthony Spinello of Spinello Gallery, who incidentally has a bath but rarely uses it, was moved to beg for council with his artist one night next week during which she will no doubt induct him to her world of soapy treats.
Tune in next week when Miami/LA based conceptual artist, Alexandra Kuechenberg, joins ARTLURKER in Le Salon Des Beaux-Bains to discuss the impact that juggling her career, art, home-life, and body clock has on her powder room antics and visa versa.
For more information about this artist please visit: www.leematerazzi.com
For more information about this artist’s gallery please visit: www.spinellogallery.com