The Art of Miss Meatface : Sophisticated Fetish Photography
Hear MISS MEATFACE podcast interview on SEX, MAGICK & DESSERT
Kat Toronto, aka "Miss Meatface
" is a multidisciplinary artist from San Francisco/Bay Area. Her works primarily consist of performance art - mixed media - photography, combining the classic techniques of vintage poloroid and contemporary digital image. Her photo's combine the ideology of the quintessential 1950's housewife with modern day sexual fantasies that explore worlds of Fetish / Kink and BDSM. Her flawless execution involves everything from composition, set design, lighting, to an incredible collection of vintage clothes which she then combines a little latex and crochet. As of late, she begun adding clever little tips on the "How To's." How to be a modern day woman and the ultimate hostess
. Miss Meatface organically became this counter culture persona of femininity leading Instagram
to her recent published first limited edition photo book was published,"Miss Meatface on Manners, Etiquette & Entertaining."
Kat plays with a surreal reality that has hit the mainstream. Her artistry explores vulnerability of human sexuality taking antiquated concepts of what it used to mean to be a woman and replacing it with the multidimensional rawness of - woman is whatever a woman wants to be. Furthering the notion and blurring the lines of the standard dominant and submissive roles in relationships and in everyday interactions.
Miss Meatface is significant and relevant to our culture. She has been candid in several interviews on subjects like BDSM has helped overcome some of her anxieties and insecurities. Her process addresses subjects that some might consider sensitive or taboo are created with ease, grace and humor. It's not a very easy feat creating multidimensional worlds layered with time capsuled imagery off while confined in skin tight latex bodysuits and masks.
"Miss Meatface is like the Grandmother we wished we had."
Miss Meatface organically evolved from Toronto's own trauma, created (subconsciously or consiously) of her version of art therapy. Kat has never strayed away from her truth and her process, which is most likely why so many gravitate towards her work and when you meet her in person. She is genuine, kind and takes the time out to listen to fans of her work. It is refreshing for those who can relate tp her personal story. Formerly in an unhappy and emotionally abusive relationship, diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer which then led to a full hysterectomy in 2010 she took her trauma and turned it into a power. Her work allows for conversation,important ones that are needed in present day. Miss Meatface became a spiritual artistic outlet not only for Kat but for the human condition as a whole, transcending gender fluidity and sexuality ... generating the question how do I/We fit into society?
Miss Meatface has been featured in Italian Vogue, Refinery 29, Pornceptual, Bullet, The Creators Project, Dazed, Ladygun and dozens more.
I am so honored to have her as LAiCREATIVES Artist in Conversation and as my second guest for my new podcast Sex, Magick & Dessert (embedded on top.)
And now, our long overdue interview with Kat Toronto aka Miss Meatface, LAiCREATIVES October/November Artist in Conversation.
How did you come up with the name Miss Meatface?
My Miss Meatface persona began evolving around mid-2014. This was a year after I'd undergone a full hysterectomy after finding out that I had a rare form of cervical cancer at the age of 29. I was also incredibly unhappy in my relationship at the time and so I began taking self portraits that reflected how I felt inside: emotionally battered and bruised. I took up the art of special effects makeup and gave myself bloody gaping wounds on my face, black eyes and bloody noses and used all of the outward signs of domestic violence in order to make a visual statement about how I felt on the inside. It was at this point that I came up with the name Miss Meatface
How has the character developed over the years?
Miss Meatface has gone through many evolutions over the past three years. She began as a much more sexually raw organsim than she is today and I expect her to change and mutate into something completely different in a year - or five years - from what she is right now. She seems to adapt to each emotional state I am in at the moment and how I portray her in the images is a direct reference to what is going on in my own life as Kat Toronto. She is my therapist, she is my imaginary (or not so imaginary perhaps) friend, she is my great-grandmother
How do you feel about the fan base that instagram
has helped create?
Instagram has played an immensely important role in the history of Miss Meatface. I have met so many amazing people through Instagram and have been able to connect on a very personal level with many of my fans and that is a large part of what helps keep me going as an artist!
(Side Note: this is how I met Kat Toronto aka Miss Meatface after I kept reposting her photos on LAiCREATIVES Instagram page. I was so impressed by her sophisticated talent and use of Fetish, Set Design and Photography as a whole, always gracious about promoting her work, we eventually messaged back and forth and a friendship formed.)
Your photo background extends into a variety of mediums including performance art, mixed media and writing. You collaborate with your husband as well as other artists that give off a cheeky vibe - is that the intention or just what naturally happens when people work with you?
I've always been interested in various forms of performance throughout my life, I was in a band for quite a while and had been in plays and musicals as a child, so it only seemed natural that I bring Miss Meatface to life in front of an actual audience through performance art and performance photography. I also love collaborating with other artists that I admire and if I can do that via performance I usually jump at the opportunity!
How has that affected your relationship?
Miss Meatface has been an incredible part of the relationship I have with my husband, he often takes part in photo shoots - both in front of and behind the camera - and we work together amazingly as a team
Have you noticed a difference between the way people recieve you in SF / BAY AREA / LA (California) rather than across the pond, London - where you will be moving soon?
Interestingly I've found that people in the United States are a bit more timid at first about my work than perhaps those in the United Kingdom or Europe. It's only been over the past year and a half that I've started gaining a fan base in the US that is growing to rival my fan base in the UK and Europe. With that said, regardless of locations, I've had nothing but absoultely wonderful experiences with Meatface fans - it's been fantastic!
What current exhibits and upcoming events do you have coming up?
I have a large Miss Meatface piece in the 'Stitch Fetish'
exhibition currently on at the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco that I did in collaboration with the amazing embroidery and textile artist Jess De Wahls I am also embarking on a book tour throughout the US and UK wherein I shall be performing readings from my new book "Miss Meatface on Manners, Etiquette & Entertaining" and in many instances these will also be in conjunction with pop-up exhibitions of my Miss Meatface images as well.
What would you like people to take away from your work?
Within my Meatface work I prefer to make social and/or political commentary in a playful, lighthearted way whilst also hopefully sparking little questions inside of people that lead them to ask larger questions of themselves and society as a whole
Tell us about your limited edition and first book "Miss Meatface on Manners, Etiquette & Entertaining" and your intention behind writing nostalgia culture book on etiquette, manners and entertaining with a meaty edge ;)
The book is titled "Miss Meatface on Manners, Etiquette & Entertaining" and it features a selection of 40 Miss Meatface photographs paired with quotes on everything from advice for newlyweds, recipes for Jello salads, interior design tips...and everything in between. I wanted it to be something akin to the plastic sprial bound cookbooks that were so popular with women's clubs back in the day and I think that I've accomplished this with the final product, I'm so excited about it!
Who are your influencers past or present?
Very early on I was influenced by the likes of Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, Pierre Molinier and Seydou Keita. I adore the work of Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Leigh Bowery, and the fashions featured in the vintage fetish magazines of the 1950's, 60's and 70's like 'AtomAge Magazine', 'Exotique' and 'Dressing for Pleasure'. My family has also been a major factor in inspiring and influencing my artwork.