Marilyn Minter, Clown, 2002. Enamel on metal, 40 x 40 inches. Courtesy of Fredericks & Freiser, New York.
AS: Was this your first time posing for an artist?
ART: Yes, and I was terrified. I didn’t know what to expect and I was honored that Marilyn had even asked me.
AS: How did you meet Marilyn Minter?
ART: When I was getting my Bachelor’s at the School of Visual Arts I heard that everyone was clamoring to get into her class. I got in and on the first day of class I arrived late and the class was filled. She eventually let me in and later told me that it was because she had been looking for someone freckled to photograph and paint. I immediately agreed to sit for her.
AS: Did you have any preconceptions about working with Marilyn that were later shattered?
ART: In class Marilyn was tough. She was known for, and appreciated for, her brutal honesty. I didn’t know what to expect when I went to her studio. Marilyn was a dream. There was an immediate connection and I often called her my second mother.
AS: What came to mind the first time you laid eyes on the finished work?
ART: I was in awe. The paintings were exceptionally inspiring. The way Marilyn frames her photographs is such a different process than how she paints. The photographs are spontaneous and organic, and her paintings are deliberate and instinctual. It is a happy marriage.
Marilyn Minter, Vomit, 2004. C print. Image courtesy of Salon 94, New York.
AS: What picture of yourself did you like best and why?
ART: My favorite is Vomit. I think this is Marilyn’s favorite one as well. As the title suggests, I was literally vomiting that huge string of pearls. This was of course nothing to be embarrassed about, it was what we wanted. Marilyn even took care to leave a bucket by my feet in case it was too much to handle.
AS: When you looked at images of yourself for the first time, did you feel connected to yourself?
ART: I felt more connected to Marilyn than I did to myself. I became a representation of her. I saw myself differently. She captured some embarrassingly beautiful moments and had created perfect moments out of my imperfections. She would call me and ask if I had any new blemishes. That is the side of beauty that Marilyn is interested in.
AS: Did anything change in your life after posing for Marilyn?
ART: No, not at all. Marilyn introduced me to Richard Kern; she thought we would work well together. I’m embarrassed to say that in my numerous moves over the years I’ve lost his number.
Marilyn Minter, Jawbreaker, 2004. C Print. Image courtesy of Salon 94, New York.
AS: The images of you are partial and mostly feature your lips… How did this come about?
ART: The idea was more about getting into my pores. Marilyn was shooting for the growth of a new blemish, a stray wispy hair on my face, or a magnified freckle under of bead of water. The lips almost became a reference to insatiable beauty. The bigger the better, the more greedy, the more hungry.
AS: What is your relationship to fashion?
ART: We are estranged lovers. I adore fashion and guiltily read fashion blogs and magazines. I will admit, however, of my obsession with fashion television shows. As for my wardrobe, well, I wouldn’t call it fashionable. It’s not as tragically hip as it should be for someone my age.
Marilyn Minter, Drool, 2003. C Print. Image courtesy of Salon 94, New York.
AS: If you were able to go visit the Wizard of Oz, what would you ask him for?
ART: The rest of my body to be covered in freckles
AS: Finally, I cannot resist asking… What shade of red lipstick are you wearing?
ART: Fantastic question! I don’t know what brand or shade it is; it’s Marilyn’s personal lipstick [.]