photographer indigo lewin talks zines, nudes, and sexual fantasy with her favourite female muse
Ahead of the launch of her latest zine, Softer Than Rain, we had Indigo’s favourite muse turn the spotlight around and shine it on the artist.
Heavier than heaven, hotter than hell, Indigo Lewin's latest zine is a visual deconstruction of women, as the object of male fantasy. Exploring the motif of the female muse -- historically just another means of objectifying women -- Indigo juxtaposes intimate portraits of female nudes with screenshots of smutty sexts, fragments of erotic poetry, quotes from French essayist Anaïs Nin and references to classical nude sculptures. The zine will tie in with a series of mixed media installations that Indigo will be showcasing as part of the upcoming salon exhibition, Sans Titre Vol 3. Occupying a corner of French curator Marie Madec's grand apartment, Indigo has collaged together intimate photographs of female nudes with blown up cut-outs and sexy screenshots. Ahead of the exhibition's launch, we asked one of Indigo's favourite female muses, March Fry, to turn the spotlight around and shine it on the artist.
Tell us a bit about your latest project...
Softer Than Rain is meant to take a look at the female body and sexuality from all its different angles. I liked playing with the idea of men's idyllic notions of what a woman should be. I've contrasted stereotypically 'nice nudes' with screenshots from dirty sext conversations, erotic poetry and cut-outs from Anaïs Nins literature to visually deconstruct the soft, innocent and demure submissive sex maniac that has been created by male fantasy. 'Lady in the streets and a freak in the streets' whatever that means…
Where did you find the inspiration for Softer Than Rain?
More than feeling inspired, I was following a brief. I made the zine and a series of images for the third instalment of Sans Titre, a group show curated by Marie Madec. However, I am always inspired by Marie's aesthetic and being shown alongside the artists she selects; I'm always really excited to be a part of anything she is putting together. She has a really fresh and interesting take on how to merge the young and old, the established and up-and-coming.
What does the zine represent to you or what do you want it to evoke in the reader?
I don't think it really represents anything to me, I suppose in a way it is thematically linked to my previous zines in the way it is sort of 'romantic art'. However, this time instead of looking at emotions, Softer Than Rain is looking at ideas and perhaps commenting on the irony of those ideas. All the different components of the stereotypical sexualised idea of the perfect woman contradict one another. I wanted to portray that in the title also. 'Heavier than Heaven, Hotter than Hell, Softer than Rain' it sounds intriguing, but kind of makes no sense.
What is it that you find about sex and the female form so alluring?
Sex and the female form, lol. Sex and girls, they are the beginning and end of every great story… and tragedy.
What is it that you like about photographing me?
I like you, therefore I like photographing you. I think it also helps if you like me too… then everyone is comfortable. Shooting someone naked is vulnerable and personal and also very intimate. If you know how to be intimate with your sitter, it's a much more familiar process. It's funny how people turn it on when their clothes are off though! People tend to be shy when they have their turtlenecks on but when it comes to full frontal vagina shots, everyone's Kate Moss. I love it.
Introduction by Tish Weinstock
Interview by March Fry