summer sang in me; hand made art photo book for exhibition

Summer Sang in Me by Katrina del Mar: limited edition, hand made, leather bound, hot foil stamped 200 page full color books. there are only 10. ultimately, the edition will end at 25 books, signed and numbered. Exhibition on view March 7-28 at Strange Loop Gallery in New York City, 27 Orchard Street. contact Strange Loop Gallery to purchase books. photography, layout and design by Katrina del Mar. books printed by Owen Francis at First Prince Copy, books bound by Nancy Loeber at the Center for Book Arts in New York City.

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Summer Sang in Me at Strange Loop Gallery NYC

Katrina del Mar, Summer Sang in Me

March 7- March 28, 2014

Opening Reception, Friday March 7th, 2014 6-9pm

Strange Loop Gallery 27 Orchard Street New York, New York

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From March 7 – March 28, 2014 Strange Loop Gallery is proud to present Summer Sang in Me, a solo exhibition featuring photographs, videos and ‘zines by New York-based artist Katrina del Mar.

‘Summer Sang In Me’ is a compilation of Katrina del Mar’s intimate photographic and video portraits of lovers, ex lovers, close friends and beautiful strangers. Entwined with self-portraits and elemental landscapes, these images map out the semi-fictional road trip of her life.  In no particular order Del Mar is an artist, photographer, human being, lover. Her style is realistic /romantic; messy at times, tactile, beautiful, and gritty. Her pictures are foremost captured with a taste and passion for life in general, and for women in all their individuality of beauty and power in particular.

Reading like an unbound, semi-fictive yet very personal journal, the images, video clips and ‘zines make up a story of restlessness, a study in fascination verging on obsession. The insistent drive to hold onto remnants of people so as not to lose their memory results in a type of souvenir collecting of a most personal nature, and a longer temporal narrative emerges which sees participants striding in and out of the story sometimes once, sometimes many times. This exhibition serves up a softer, more romantic side of del Mar’s work, although the tough girl aesthetic clearly shines on in a series of images of planned bruises and fight-club aftermath, where tough girls proudly display evidence of their damage alongside evidence of unbridled lust.

“Katrina Del Mar has been active in underground film, photography and erotic fiction for two decades, and her vision is as transcendent as it is transgressive.” – Carlo McCormick, Photograph Magazine

“Any effort to map Katrina Del Mar’s cross-genre oeuvre within the contemporary art or film worlds would run the risk of missing its epic nature.” – Jenifer P Borum

BIO

Katrina del Mar is a New York-based photographer, video artist and award-winning film director. Her work has been described as “beautiful” exuding an “intimate chemistry” and also as “filth of the highest quality.”  Katrina herself has been described as a “major league cutie,”  “a wild woman,” “the Lesbian Russ Meyer,” and “apparently, the lesbian stepchild of Kenneth Anger.”
 Her solo exhibition GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS was presented in January 2013 at Participant Inc. in New York. Her solo exhibition, Gangs of New York was presented in 2010 at Wrong Weather Gallery in Porto, Portugal. Invited to teach at the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany, she conducted the first ever “Queer Trash Feminist Film Workshop,” also in 2010. In 2012, she presented a series of films and photographs from the Golden Age of Performance Art (1988-2000 with Dona Ann McAdams, On the Edge of Society: Moments in Live Art, at Warehouse 9, Copenhagen, Denmark. Her work has shown at Deitch Projects, NY; Museum for Contemporary Art (CAPC), Bordeaux, France; American Fine Arts Company, NY; Binz 39, Zurich, Switzerland; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Miami Light Project; P.S.122, NY; FabLab, Berlin; and the University of Cardiff, Wales.

Her first film, Gang Girls 2000, shot entirely on super 8mm film, received a four and a half star review in Film Threat magazine, among other glowing reviews, inviting comparisons to the legendary Kenneth Anger. The follow up, Surf Gang, about a gang of women surfers from Rockaway Beach, landed del Mar a fellowship in video from the New York Foundation for the Arts, “Best Experimental Film” from the Planet Out Short Movie Awards announced at the Sundance Film Festival 2006, and was screened at the Museum for Contemporary Art (CAPC), Bordeaux, France.

Her latest film project, Hell on Wheels Gang Girls Forever, completes the Girl Gang Trilogy and was the recipient of the 2010 Accolade Award of Merit. Recent screenings include Girl Gang Trilogy, Nightingale Cinema, co-presented by Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2012; Super 8 Film Portraits, curated by Stephanie Gray, Millennium Film Workshop, NY, 2012; Surf Gang (excerpt), Sound & Light, and winner of Juried Competition, Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 2012; Girl Gang Trilogy, Fringe Film Festival, London, UK, 2012; and Girl Gang Trilogy, Bio Paradis, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2012.

STRANGE LOOP GALLERY      27 ORCHARD STREET

(BETWEEN HESTER AND CANAL STREETS)

NEW YORK CITY

WWW.STRANGELOOPGALLERY.COM

 

GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS @ Art Market Provincetown

GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS June 10- July 1 at AMP Art Market Provincetown 148 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA

with Sarah Lyon Louisville Portraits & Beyond and Billy Hough’s Peep Show video installation

Opening Reception: Friday June 14, 7-9pm
Night of music performance and readings: Saturday June 15, 7-9:30
GIRL GANG TRILOGY screening Provincetown International Film Festival: June 21

Girls Girls Girls | Photographs & Video/Film & Handmade Books by Katrina del Mar

“I cast my girlfriends as gang girls, in leather and muscle cars. My armies of girls, in coordinated outfits, are ready to do battle for what they believe in: freedom, new turf, glitter, a good wave, a good ride, their girl gang, their favorite dog. I make films that are unselfconsciously queer, unapologetically feminist; riotous and robustly unkempt.”

AMP is very proud to bring Katrina del Mar to Provincetown with a significant part of an exhibition presented earlier this year at Participant Inc. in New York. Comprised of large-scale photographs, clusters of smaller prints, films, videos, and hand-made paperback books, GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS brings together an alluring and potent body of work, “as transcendent as it is transgressive.” – Carlo McCormick, Photograph Magazine. The exhibition at AMP is in tandem with the Provincetown International Film Festival.

Katrina writes about the paperback books: ”The idea that the words come from pictures: in a word, ekphrasis; is not only the description of a work of art, it is the description of my moment as a writer. The photographs hint at a story. The films become overburdened with narrative. Long after my films are finished I am writing the novels they should have been based on. I write modern myth set in urban environments. I make the work backwards. The book cover first, pulp fiction paperback style. Some are full, some are incomplete, some have yet to be written.”

Debbie Nadolney of AMP with my prints on the floor installation day. Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar

Debbie Nadolney of AMP with my prints on the floor installation day. Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar

Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar installation view @ AMP

Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar installation view @ AMP

Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar installation view @ AMP

Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar installation view @ AMP

Opening Reception

Opening Reception Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar @ AMP Art Market Provincetown

Installation view SURF GANG excerpt Opening Reception Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar @ AMP Art Market Provincetown

Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar @ AMP Art Market ProvincetownInstallation view “SURF GANG” excerpt

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Thomas Cooper at the opening reception Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar @ AMP Art Market Provincetown

Sarah Greenwood performs at GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS Tough Girls & Lucid Dreamers at AMP

Sarah Greenwood performs at GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS Tough Girls & Lucid Dreamers at AMP

Amanda Pollock reads at GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS Tough Girls & Lucid Dreamers at AMP

Amanda Pollock reads at GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS Tough Girls & Lucid Dreamers at AMP

Melissa Febos reads at Tough Girls & Lucid Dreamers curated by Katrina del Mar at AMP

Melissa Febos reads at Tough Girls & Lucid Dreamers curated by Katrina del Mar at AMP

Nahid, Leila Bartell, Amanda Pollock, Melissa Febos & Sarah Greenwood outside AMP

Leila Bartell Amanda Pollock, Melissa Febos & Sarah Greenwood outside AMP

Melissa Febos, Sarah Greenwood, Annamarie Novak & Debbie Nadolney outside AMP

Melissa Febos, Sarah Greenwood, Annamarie Novak & Debbie Nadolney outside AMP

handmade paperback alphabet GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS by Katrina del Mar at AMP

handmade paperback alphabet GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS by Katrina del Mar at AMP

Per Larson was into the handmade paperback books Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar @ AMPPer Larson was into the handmade paperback books Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar @ AMP

Sarah Greenwood, Thomas Cooper & Leila Bartell at Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar @ AMP

Sarah Greenwood, Thomas Cooper & Leila Bartell at Girls Girls Girls by Katrina del Mar @ AMP

Katrina del Mar GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS Participant Inc.

I am so buzzzed, happy & grateful. Sunday night’s opening of GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS at Participant Inc. was packed with lovely people who were happy for me, happy to see one another, & really into the works. Show’s up til Feb 17: Wed-Sun 12-7 Lia Gangitano you are amazing to work with. Nancy Loeber thanks for helping me put those books together. The prints looked gorgeous thanks Carl Saytor of LuxLab! — at PARTICIPANT INC. 253 East Houston Street NY NY 10002

MORE INFO from the press release:

From January 13 – February 17, 2013, PARTICIPANT INC is proud to present GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS, a solo exhibition featuring photographs, videos, and hand-made books by New York-based artist Katrina del Mar.

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Katrina del Mar is perhaps best known for her decades-long work in video and photography, chronicling the reality and illusion of her Lower East Side friends and lovers as punk heroines; or within her girl gang movie world of strictly female population. Creating a family tree indebted equally to B-movies and diaristic photography, del Mar’s defiantly queer photographs and videos are iconic alternatives to the cultural status quo, offering an exuberant, hyper-stylized sexuality, an unapologetic feminist voice, and often guerilla-style production tactics.

Particularly informed by the Greek word ekphrasis, a rhetorical device in which a description of a work becomes the work in and of itself, del Mar has described her practice as operating in a similar exchange: book covers and movie posters come before the books and movies and, in some instances, stand alone. She has noted, “Long after my films are finished, I am writing the novels they should have been based on. I write modern myths set in urban environments.”

With this logic in mind, GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS presents an expansive selection of photographic works, beginning with a shelf of handmade pulp fiction paperbacks. Their covers, designed first, become starting points for del Mar’s fictional excursions inside, though some remain empty. On the walls, photographs are grouped into loose narratives. Arcs and archetypes—surfer girls, bike gangs, girls playing in their rooms, bedroom scenes including the artist and others—feature dogs, cars, leather, tattoos. These become fictionalized signifiers of the threat of women’s violence, which the artist, as ringleader, marshals as an active participant. Adding light and color to the powers that urban life has to offer, del Mar creates “…a fantasy that moves from violence to sex rather than vice versa….” (Chicago Reader)

Jenifer P. Borum has noted of del Mar’s work: “These glimpses she gives us are not of marginal inhabitants of our world. Those leather femmes with their dogs. Those pierced, sleeved-out dykes on the street. They look like they’re from the cool neighborhood of the city, but they’re not from here. Like Henry Darger’s In the Realms of the Unreal, del Mar’s world is both epic and dystopian—a fictional reality that seems very much like our own, only with different rules.”

Pinups for Valentine’s Day

I’m fascinated with pinup photography. My first serious pictures were a session of self portraits. I remember feeling down about myself. So I dressed up and took my own picture. It made me feel happy. I showed the pictures around and my friends said “Oh my god that’s you? Take my picture!”
It’s kind of how this whole thing of me being a photographer started rolling.
Here is a limited* selection of photos taken from around 1990-2012. Enjoy.
(*my photo program conveniently crashed this morning, so this is the best I could do, in terms of finding & uploading pics today!) XOXO

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Katrina del Mar feature interview in Australia’s Slit Magazine

Katrina filming Gang Girls 2000 photo by Dayna Frank

Katrina filming Gang Girls 2000 photo by Dayna Frank


The Slit Interview with

Katrina del Mar



REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION FROM SLIT MAGAZINE (AUSTRALIA)


Years ago a friend arrived home with an illegal dub of a movie that I had to absolutely see now! The film Gang Girls 2000 was Katrina del Mar’s epic lesbo gang pic. Part spoof, part hot fantasy, the Super 8 short film was causing a ripple of excitement through the queer girl film scene – It didn’t disappoint. Years later, I heard a great tale of Katrina getting robbed – bag full of dubs for actresses and crew – on her way to the San Fran screening of her new surf gang film. Furious she picked up a bottle and screaming banshee style chased the would be robbers till they dropped their nabbed booty. She arrived at the opening like a true gang girl leader, bag full and heart quickend. It’s a great pleasure that we catch up with and chat about the creative world of Katrina del Mar.

Slit: We thought for Slit’s Gang Girl issue, that it’s a must to profile you with your longstanding filmography on girl gangs. From looking at your surf gang and gang
girl’s films, and your pseudo kin photography exhibitions – a running theme through your work is the idea of non-biological family or crew. What is it about crews or gangs that takes you?

Katrina del Mar: The real happy family for so many people is just a myth. I know only a handful of happy well adjusted people from happy caring biological families. -A lot of my friends because they’re queer or freaks have gone on to form their own families, where they feel accepted and even celebrated for who they are.-Also, as an artist, my aesthetic is the opposite of minimalist. I love clusters and groups of beautiful things, not just one hot girl; seven!


S: The female characters in Gang Girls 2000, and Surf Gang have a certain toughness, you feel like they’ve been around the block, cracked a few heads and have scarred hearts, where did you find your inspiration for these films?

K: These girls are my friends, they’re not actors. I’m observing what they do, how they relate to one another and to me, and I listen to the stories they tell.-I add my own feelings of rage, grief, tenderness, cockiness, and a sense of fun.-I ask them to turn it up by about 30% to make it all more entertaining and lay a story down around it like a wreath of roses.-They take it and run.


S: Where do you find your girl gang talent?

The Brooklyn Brakenecks from the forthcoming Hell on Wheels, Gang Girls Forever

The Brooklyn Brakenecks from the forthcoming Hell on Wheels, Gang Girls Forever



K: Well like I said, most of my actors are friends and friends of friends. It depends on who is available on the day we shoot!-But one time, we picked up a couple of girls in the gas station.-They were blonde girls fuelling up a white jaguar convertible.-I said “hey, you wanna be in a movie?”


S: Your work on both girl gangs and surf gang have such beautiful framing, every shot is almost a photograph. You shot Gang Girls 2000 on super 8 and then dubbed down to video to edit – have you been seduced by the ease of digital video? Or do you still prefer to shoot in film?

K: Thank you so much.-I come from being a photographer so I have that sense of framing my shot in my blood.-If it’s not spectacular and pleasing compositionally,-I won’t shoot it.-I’ll get bored within seconds, and put the camera down. Try something else. Of course, on the other hand, I really do think of myself as being like Ed Wood – (the Johnny Depp version) – “fabulous!” just happy with everything. As for video versus film, I hate the look of video, I do like the texture of film, it’s nicer and I love my little local underground film lab, the reek of chemistry and all, but now because I found a camera which, to me, looks like film, I’m happy with the video too.-I like to mix both together. I haven’t shot a full story on Super 8mm since Gang Girls, because now I have this film like video camera which I really love.

Kembra Pfahler as Sugarlips, leader of the Ponies Gang. Gang Girls 2000

Kembra Pfahler as Sugarlips, leader of the Ponies Gang. Gang Girls 2000



S: Surf Girls had an ace punk rock sound score! I believe your lover Sarah Greenwood (of vocals GSX punk NY band) wrote some of this. What was that process like? Did Sarah have a free hand to go wild! Or did you have an exact sound in mind?

K: Sarah contributed songs to the soundtrack from the GSX album and she also wrote original music for the film. I just set her loose within a framework;-you know, “I need music for when they’re jonesing for waves.” And she comes back with something amazing.-“This is a moment of mystery, a magical rebirth from the sea.”
“This is violent and sexy.” Boom. There’s the music. She’s a fucking genius.


S: Having a girlfriend in a punk rock band, have you been seduced into making the band a video clip as yet?

K: Yeah of course.-I drive my car, listen to her CD and dream up music videos. One of them is so huge and elaborate, it’s going to be a two day shoot. The one that we already did we shot it in 2 hours in an empty room.-A girl, a guitar and a half stack. Loads of headbanging. It’s called “Too Far,” I shot it on Super 8mm, so it’s got that nasty beautiful black and white grain.


S: Your work covers both still images and film – are you drawn to one medium more than the other?

K: I like still images because they are that. Still.-I tend to keep, despite this mad rush of busy life in New York City, quietly within me a secret desire for alchemy, to discover the essence of the moment and hold it up for examination and contemplation. See! But what happens is, if the picture is rich enough, one begins to wonder what the story is. That’s what began to happen with my pictures.-I saw the potential for a story.-And I always liked to make picture books. Movies were naturally a progression from that.-I’ve been making movies for a few years now, and lately I’m returning to the still image. My hope is that the two media will inform and feed one another.


S: “It appears Ms. Del Mar is the lesbian stepchild of Kenneth Anger.” – Aaron Krach, LGNY Film. I love this review how did you feel when you got this
one, do you like the inference you are carrying on the line of great queer erotic movies? Were Kenneth Anger films an inspiration for you?

K: You know I always knew who he was by reading about his work, but I had never seen any of it, I was just mesmerized by the titles! Finally I went to a screening of “Lucifer Rising” and I was all “oh! I totally see it!”- There’s this obsessive looking thing going on, this fetishization of the ordinary accoutrements of sexy people.- To me,
it’s total pervert stuff. The way you stare at a beautiful mouth, and then the zipper, the boots, back to the mouth.-It’s so sexy!- I really like looking at and playing up the relationship of people to their favourite objects.


S: I saw you are in Jasmine Hirst’s – I’m a huge fan of her work – Superstar Series of photography portraits along side Chrissy Amphlett, Penny Arcade, Vali Myers and Nan Goldin. How did this come about?

K: Her work is amazing. I met Jasmine about two years ago here in NYC, she came here to do some work, and we’ve totally hit it off.-She told me she’d seen my work at a screening a few years back before we knew each other and she was really impressed. We have a huge mutual admiration society going on over here, and are talking about collaborating somehow.


S: I read you were involved in a benefit recently for the New Jersey 4 at X Party. I hadn’t heard of this case – of four young afro dykes who got 3-11 years for defending
themselves against a homophobic attack – were called a “lesbian gang” by the NY post and told by the judge you make our city unsafe for tourists. It’s such a shocking
racist, sexist and leso phobic story. What drove you to get involved in this benefit? Is there a lot of anger about their sentences?

K: I read their story and was immediately with them in my heart.-I know that story, I understand that rage!- I’ve done pushbacks on obnoxious fucking guys myself many times and felt it was just my right.-How DARE they speak to me like that.-For me, it’s a kind of elitism as a female. I have a sense of entitlement as a woman to be treated with absolute respect by males.-Is that wrong? That guy deserved the beat down he got and he’s a pussy to go prosecute those persecuted women. I hope he
gets what he deserves.


S: You seem really connected with the queer girl scene in NYC from your stills on flyers for punk girl band gigs such as- “heavy eyeliner” to film/vid installations at
clubs like X Party. What keeps you involved?

K: You sure have your finger on the throbbing pulse of downtown NYC!- I like to be a part of the party, man! My friend Dee Finley promotes X Party which is always fun and creative crazy and sort of punk rock (just like Dee), so it’s fun for me to help out with the imagery.- I love our community, I want to promote it and help it flourish add some creative visuals. Also, having a venue for a film is helpful to get me to make one. Recently I did a film for Halloween night film show where the only rule was that Lola RocknRolla had to be in it and had to die at the end, so I made this really bizarre and bloody vampire film one evening.


S: You work professionally as a studio manager at Nan Goldins studio. Wow is that really the artist Nan Goldin? I saw her retrospective in Paris years ago it
was amazing! Has her drive rubbed off on you? You seem prolific so I think so! Has she given you any good tips, pitfalls for young artists to watch for and
such?

K: Nan Goldin is totally inspiring to me, she is always taking new pictures, always working.- She’s completely hilarious and incredibly smart.- She’s given me so much I think it’s going to take years to unfold the experience of working with her for just a year.- What’s amazing to me about her is that she really lives her work in an unfiltered way. It’s unfailingly unblinkingly almost excruciatingly real.- Her advice to me has been to get rid of all the props.-She says she likes my work a lot, so that’s very encouraging.-She even said my vampire movie was “radical” and “groundbreaking,” so that’s extremely encouraging.


S: Your new short experimental film “Punchin & Cussin” has had a few outings, will it be doing the queer film circuit?

K: Well I’ve been busy at work so I may have missed a few film fest deadlines, but I’d like to get the new short films around. I made four last year – “Punchin & Cussin”,- “A Beautiful Death”, “Do You Have a Lover” (music video for Sandra Grace) & “Too Far” (the music video for GSX / Sarah Greenwood).


S: What projects do you have in the pipeline?

K: My next big project besides making a book of my photographs (I’m trying to think of an appropriate title!) is to make a feature length lesbian vampire movie and I’m also collaborating with Genevieve Pavitt of Hooray for Goodbye on a feature film that’s a gay sci fi thriller.


S: And for the record can you tell us two of your favourite erotic film scenes? Only one can be your own?

K: My favourite erotic scene lately is from My Summer of Love;- the scene with Emily Blunt riding the horse. One from mine is the Glitter Girls pillowfight victory makeout party.


To see more of Katrina del Mar’s work, and her catalogue of books, videos, tshirts and art prints, check out
www.katrinadelmar.com/plushcat.html