meet the new internet cult art hero, ms nina

At a time when every model – no matter how good they actually look – is getting retouched to appear prettier and thinner, you could almost forget that there is more to photography than Photoshop. But that doesn’t apply to Jorgeline Andrea Torres aka Ms...

by Bela-Tess Wind
05 December 2014, 9:45am

Whether it's Marilyn Monroe, 2Pac or Sailor Moon, no symbol of pop culture is safe from Ms Nina. Her collages are a fierce mix of emojis, glitter and storm masks, with a dose of 90s MTV aesthetics too. Cartoon characters get made-over with weed and guns, gangster rappers find themselves re-made as religious symbols, and pop culture icons like Madonna or Andy Warhol come along with colorful dyed hair. Ms Nina's pictures are the Pop Art of the modern cyber age: a sharp and fun mash-up of the modern icons of consumption. We sat down with the 23-year-old and talked about her surreal vision of the world.

How come you're creating collages out of pictures that were made by others, even though you're a photography student yourself?What I like about photography is the idea of capturing a moment, right when the camera clicks. Then one day I saw a collage online and thought "I want to do something more extraordinary than that." So I started retouching pictures of Marilyn Monroe and other famous pin-up models, and then I moved onto the iconic personalities of the art, fashion and music scenes.

Your images contain a lot of cultural references. What has shaped your style?
When I was a child, I watched a lot of MTV and I was fascinated by the different music videos. Lil' Kim with her fur coats and 2Pac's Thug Life, all of this has inspired me a lot. Also cartoons, I've always loved Sailor Moon and Pokémon. Back in the day I used to put stickers on everything, these days I put them on Kate Moss' face. But my art is based on Internet aesthetics, too. Tumblr is, for example, not just a means of communication to me, but also a huge source of inspiration because it's like cutting out parts of everything, adding my love to it and mixing everything together into collages.

Which motifs do you like using the most and why?
I like Marilyn Monroe, she's got this mythology that comes with her. And I find Andy Warhol very cool as he started a whole art movement. Apart from this I like using pictures of money and gold jewelry.

When did you decide to share your images with people on the Internet?
Well, it wasn't too long ago. I was very insecure in the beginning, because I didn't think my pictures were cool enough to be published. But some day I said "Fuck what others think!" to myself and created an Instagram account. The feedback I received was so positive that it motivated me to create more pictures. Then I set up a Tumblr for my GIFs.

What was the coolest thing that has happened to you ever since?
I've already had two exhibitions in Madrid, one of them closed just a few weeks ago. It was pretty weird seeing my own pictures hanging on the wall and people staring at them - the whole time you're wondering whether they like it or not. Also, I edited a cover for Galore Magazine and the attendant fashion editorial. Oh, and Snoop Dogg shared a picture by me on his Instagram, because I did a collage out of a photo of him.

Why do you think people like your images so much?

A weed smoking Sailor Moon is something entertains people. I want them to have a good time when looking at my pictures and I guess it works.

Is there something you'd like to say to the people sitting in front of their laptops?
Do what you love without caring what others think!


Text Bela-Tess Wind
Images courtesy Ms Nina

Pop Art
MS Nina