Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Muse (ment) Quest!

I was expecting to see Spencer Tunick, the highly influential and respected artist and photographer at Art Hamptons last week in order to interview him and inquire as to whether I could become his artistic muse. Unfortunately he was no where to be found.

Purrhaps that's because he's in the midst of organizing a massive photo shoot scheduled for September 17th to highlight the plight of the Dead Sea in Israel. To further acquaint you with Spencer Tunick's amazing work, below are some of the iconic images he has created!

Grand Central Station Installation by Spencer Tunick

Spencer Tunick - Sydney Opera House

Spencer Tunick - Dusseldorf Photo Shoot Installation

Spencer Tunick's work took him to Montauk Point two years ago and it was quite a happening - just like all of Spencer's photo shoots! As I got to thinking about this, I was wondering what indeed he would have said to me. I had all sorts of fantasies including an interview that I would like to share with you my adoring fans!

Montauk Point Installation by Spencer Tunick 2009

Natasha Finkel: Spencer, would you be open to doing a photo shoot in Montauk again?

Spencer Tunick: No, I never do shoots in the same location twice. There are so many interesting places to photograph. My work has taken me to Irish Castles, Grand Central Station, The Sydney Opera House, Mexico City, Amsterdam and Dusseldorf as well as many other interesting locales!

Natasha Finkel: Spencer, would you be open to doing a photo shoot with cats?

Spencer Tunick: Well, I've never done that before. I've only worked with Masters and Mistresses. As long as the cats BEHAVE and FOLLOW my posing instructions and other rules carefully, that would be very interesting!

Natasha Finkel: What are your rules specifically, Spencer? I need to know what's involved with one of your photo shoots!

Spencer Tunick: For Pussycats?

Natasha Finkel: Of course! I am a Pussycat. Can't you tell?

Spencer Tunick: Let's see. Since you are a long furred Persian cat, I would request that you shave your fur. You can keep your mane and a little pouf on your tail, but I would recommend that you get a Lion's cut.

Natasha Finkel: Why are you recommending such a thing Spencer?

Spencer Tunick: My art is about masses of bodies that are treated as an overall sculpture. It's not about a particular Master or Mistress or a particular Pussycat. As most cats have short hair, I will need to make sure that you don't stand out and detract from the overall feeling of the photo shoot. I view the body (Master, Mistress or Pussycat) as a form of a sculpture. My shoots are called "Installations" for that reason!

Natasha Finkel: That sounds like a very interesting proposition. You see, I've been having some problems in the Pussycat modeling world now that short fur is "in" and long fur is "out"! I really need to re-invent myself in Fashion. After all, I'm not getting any younger and it is a youth culture obsessed society that we live in - for Masters and Mistresses as well as Pussycats!

Spencer Tunick: This could very well be a way to re-invent your persona Natasha!

Natasha Finkel: OK, getting back to your rules.

Spencer Tunick: When you get your fur shaved off, you are only allowed to have little tufts of fur, on your paws, a pouf on your tale and yes, you can keep your mane. I work exclusively with nude body forms.

Natasha Finkel: I'm relieved. Did you know that my mane was trademarked? Though the thought of shaving off my fur is rather traumatic for me. My fur is my pride!

Spencer Tunick: No Natasha. I did not know that. But you will have to deal with it and be a big tough pussycat if you want to do this. Getting to my rules, here they are:
Don't get large tattoos as they may stand out in the photo. I usually work with Masters and Mistresses, but I am open to all breeds of pussycats and they must blend with one another, just like the Masters and Mistresses must do!

Natasha Finkel: I was thinking of getting a large one on my body - a giant dragon just like the Mistress of Beauty and Glamour that used to work exclusively for Jean Paul Gaultier in the 90's. So I guess I'll hold off on that!

Spencer Tunick: You must stay perfectly still and do as you are told. Can you do that?

You must get up before dawn for the shoot and no cameras are allowed on set.
Since you will be shaved, you will not have a pony tail so we don't have to worry about that.
You are not allowed to look at the other cats doing the shoot as they are modest even though they are doing a group nude photo shoot.

Realize that you cannot be a star as it's all about the formation and shape of the bodies, more so than your awesomely stunning looks!

Realize this is not KITTY PORN, IT IS FINE ART!

There may be many "Gay" kitty cats and "Fat Cats" there. You don't have to be a supermodel to participate. There may even be some "purrverts" but I try to screen for that.

Because you are who you are Natasha, the other cats my be in awe of your natural beauty so be prepared for other cats to look and you and realize that some cats can be unscrupulous, just like some Masters and Mistresses.. They may sneak a picture of you on their cellular phone as memento which could turn up on the internet - even though it's NOT ALLOWED!

You must sign an artistic release!

Do not be un-nerved by the fly caster fisherman who are looking at all of the naked pussycat bodies in amazement. There will be about 500 pussycats on site doing the shoot! I'm thinking we'll do this in Sagaponack at Peter's Pond as it's one of the coolest beaches in the Hamptons! Plus, it's very close to where you stay with your Mistress!

Realize Natasha that you cannot be a star in the photo shoot as it's all about the formation and shape of the posed bodies...much more so than your actual looks. If you try to be a star, IT WILL GET YOU REMOVED FROM THE SHOOT, so you need to make absolutely certain that you don't stand out too much! We may very do Kitty Yoga poses!

Natasha Finkel: Wow Spencer. Anything else you need to tell me beforehand?

Spencer Tunick: Typically, I have a waiting list for participants, but because you brought this idea to me, I will give you extra special consideration and put you to the front of the list to participate in my first ever Pussycat photo shoot!

You will be IMMORTALIZED, but not like how Marilyn Monroe was with Bert Stern! However, you will have participated in an event that you will treasure for the rest of your 9 LIVES!

Natasha Finkel: Anything else I need to know? And by the way, I have 12 lives, unlike other Pussycats!

Spencer Tunick: Natasha, you and all of the other pussycat participants will receive a complimentary signed artwork as my personal gift for being an active participant in my art work after I have developed the film and selected the best out takes from the shoot!

I always have a secret after party for all participants after the shoot. But if you want, we can go out for catnip pancakes later as nudity seems to bring out the hunger in everyone - perhaps at Estia's Little Kitchen or at the Poxabogue Golf Club!

Natasha Finkel: Spencer, you have been an absolute angel! Thank you for letting me inspire you and for sharing the details of what goes on at your photo shoots. One more question: Can I be your Muse?

Spencer Tunick: Natasha, when you rub up to me, you make it very difficult for me to say no. However, I don't have any other muses other than my wife! So I'm afraid I'll have to take a pass on this one. However, we shall remain in touch and stay friends.

One more thing: You and your adoring fans can buy my art through Salomon Contemporary. I am a working artist!

Natasha Finkel: Purrfect Spencer! Thank you so much for your time and I will definitely direct my adoring fans to your fabulous, highly collectible art! It's not only beautiful, but I hear it's a great investment!

Salomon Contemporary is located at 526 West 28th Street, New York, NY 212-727-0807 Call to inquire about Spencer Tunick prints and tell them Natasha Finkel sent you!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Oh to be A Muse (D) - Part II

The festivities at Art Hamptons have begun. Thursday night, my Mistress of Beauty and Adventure went on a fact finding mission for me to find a pussycat friendly artist who would entertain the idea of my becoming their muse! While she was there, talking to a drag queen/performance artist, she was interviewed by Hamptons Television about my feelings about art. Please check out 32:25 of the video:

My Mistress of Beauty and Adventure at Art Hamptons on Hamptons TV at 32:25

Before I become a Muse, I thought that I should fully explore what it means to be a Muse and ask Ultra Violet, aka Isabelle Collin Dufresne, Andy Warhol's muse who is at the show her thoughts on the experience on Friday afternoon.

Andy Warhol, Self Portrait, 1986, Acrylic on Canvas

Natasha Finkel: Ultra Violet, what was it like being Andy Warhol's muse?

Ultra Violet: BUY THE BOOK!

Natasha Finkel: Ultra Violet, I hear that you have a French accent. Are you from Paris?

Ultra Violet: Is Paris the only city in France? BUY THE BOOK!

Natasha Finkel: How did you meet Andy Warhol?

Ultra Violet: BUY THE BOOK!

Natasha Finkel: Ultra Violet, I'm trying to interview you. I don't have time to buy the book and read it for the interview. So again, how did you meet Andy Warhol?

Ultra Violet pictured on her book jacket (When she was Young)

Ultra Violet: BUY THE BOOK!

Natasha Finkel: Please, Ultra Violet, please!

Ultra Violet: I met Andy Warhol through Salvador Dali when I came to the United States. BUT IT'S ALL IN THE BOOK!

Natasha Finkel: Did you know Carmen Dell'Orefice?

Ultra Violet: No, who is she?

Natasha Finkel: Carmen Dell'Orefice is the oldest working model in the fashion world. She was Salvador Dali's muse and lost her fortune twice - first to the stock market in the 1980's/1990's and then to Bernard Madoff. Now she has to work.

Ultra Violet: Let me see her picture!

Natasha Finkel: Let me show you via Google on my iphone

Carmen Dell'Orefice

Natasha Finkel: Isn't she beautiful?

Ultra Violet: Did she have "work" done?

Natasha Finkel: I have no idea but she is a beautiful woman.

Ultra Violet: Is she Jewish?

Natasha Finkel: I do not know, but why do you ask?

Ultra Violet: Because those Jews were very greedy thinking they could get above average returns from Bernie Madoff.

Natasha Finkel: I'm Jewish, Ultra Violet and I'm not greedy!

Ultra Violet: Did you know Bernard Madoff?

Natasha Finkel: No I didn't but I wouldn't have invested with him anyway.

Natasha Finkel: So were you friends with Andy Warhol? What was it like being his muse?

Ultra Violet: Andy Warhol had no friends. He just liked to document and we from the Factory were just there to hang around. Being his muse had nothing to do with inspiring him.

Natasha Finkel: OK Ultra Violet, thank you for your insight regarding what it was like to be Andy Warhol's muse.


Ultra Violet's IXXI

Well Pussycats, I'm going to try to find other muses to ask them their impressions. Perhaps I'll buy Ultra-Violet's book or art. She is doing a book signing today at Art Hamptons. Or, perhaps NOT! I'll report back soon pussycats!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oh to be A Muse (D) - Part I

If you didn't read my last blog post, "Spank Me It's My Birthday", then you may not know exactly who Carmen Dell'Orefice and Kiki de Montparnasse are. If so, click on the hyperlink to play catch up, or else the claws will be coming out in full force sans manicure!

These two Mistresses have inspired me to no end in their roles as Muses to Salvador Dali for Carmen and Man Ray for Kiki. Perhaps I should become a Muse to a famous artist in order to propel my career in the Pussycat Modeling World. After all, Carmen got her start at the age of 15 in Mistress years and I'm not getting any younger! This could completely solidify my meteoric rise in the Pussycat modeling world and make me an icon on the art and fashion scene. Plus I'll get invited to all of the "right events"! I want to be a star...a immortalized icon...just like Marilyn Monroe!

Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern

Living in Bridgehampton and in Brooklyn does have its privileges. So why not make the most of an opportunity to be adored while providing artistic inspiration to genius talent? I'm still "working it" in the Pussycat modeling world in the Fashion business, but haven't found a designer that has taken me "under his wing" so to speak in that capacity -- only on the catwalk!

This burning desire to be a Muse led me straight to Art Hamptons - run by the Hampton Expo Group. Art Hamptons is a yearly art fair that features top established artists and emerging talent - from Picasso to people you have never heard of but will be soon! This year, for the first time ever in their four year history, they are showcasing significant fine art photography from the finest art dealers in the country via their show within a show called PhotoHamptons.

Ruben Natal-San Miguel, who runs the eponymous photography consulting firm, is an artist in his own right and is the critically acclaimed blogger of Art Most Fierce, will present a highly informative and engaging fair tour entitled “How to Invest and Collect Fine Art Photography." Geared for both novice and experienced collectors, his exclusive tour will provide valuable insights and tips on building your fine art photography collection. Art Hamptons will be taking place at Sayres Park, 154 Snake Hollow Road in Bridgehampton, NY from July 7th - 10th. For tickets, click here!

My Mistress of Beauty and Adventure is a close personal friend of Ruben's. I am a very close personal friend of Gia, the cat that owns Ruben! Gia is a star art dealer in the Pussycat world and is a precocious and highly intellectual calico kitty cat. Though Ruben taught Gia everything she knows about art - but please let's keep that little secret between ourselves. I hope Gia doesn't read this blog!

Gia, the Pussy Cat Art Dealer on the 4th of July by Ruben Natal San-Miguel
Master of Photography, Artistry, Art Consulting and Art Blogging

Glamour Break Diva, by Ruben Natal San-Miguel
2009 Harlem NYC
Available through Finch and Ada at Art Hamptons
16" x 20" $800 edition of 7

My Mistress of Beauty and Adventure's other friend is Karyn Mannix, a Mistress of Organization for Art Hamptons, a Mistress of Emerging Artistic Mastery, a Mistress of Art Dealing via Karyn Mannix Contemporary Art and a Mistress of drip painting and tours at the Pollock-Krasner House, a national historic landmark!

KK in Pink by Karyn Mannix
14" x 11", edition of 10, mixed media on canvas
Available through Karyn Mannix Contemporary

I am personally friendly with Karyn's cats, Elvis (the stubborn, highly emotive musician), Oscar the slob and Felix the neat freak - but Karyn has not immortalized them yet, so I won't feature them here!

Karyn will be featuring the work of Athos Zacharias, Willem de Kooning's one time studio assistant and a famous, highly collectible local Hamptons artist, at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on the Sag Harbor Wharf from 5:30 to 7PM as a warm up to the kick off of Art Hamptons.

Red Rose by Athos Zacharias
24" x 20", Oil on Canvas
Available through Karyn Mannix Contemporary

My other friend is Kathy Murphy, the publisher of Modern Painters magazine. She has graciously invited me to attend the VIP Cocktail hour on Saturday from 4-6PM at Art Hamptons which is being sponsored by her employer, Louise Blouin, also known in Pussycat and Art circles as the High Priestess of Art Collecting and Art Media Moguldom aka Louise Blouin Media.

Russell Simmons, Master of the Hip Hop, Fashion, Finance and Philanthropy Universe and fellow Brooklynite Danny Simmons, Russell's brother and Master of Artistic Expression are being honored as Art Patrons of the Year by Art Hamptons. Did you know they are from Hollis Queens? From what I understand, you can take the boys out of Queens, but you can't take the Queens out of the boys! Not that they are gay or anything! And not like there's anything wrong with that either!

Russell and Danny Simmons
Master of the Hip Hop, Fashion, Finance and Philanthropy Universe
and Master of Artistic Expression and Philanthropy, respectively

The VIP party on Saturday will definitely be the place to be! Ultra Violet, Andy Warhol's iconic muse from the 1960's will also be there so I will definitely have some questions for her about how to become a Muse. I can't become Andy Warhol's muse as he died before I was born. What a bummer that is! My Mistress absolutely IDOLIZES him!

Famous For 15 Minutes My Years with Andy Warhol
The Memoir of Isabelle Collin Dufresne aka Ultra-Violet

Kathy Murphy is not owned by a cat. She owns a dog named Olive and that's just fine by me. I like Kathy. She's likes animals and has good taste in art and is definitely inviting me to a great party! So hat's off to Kathy Murphy and Louise Blouin Media for sponsoring the event and for inviting ME!

On Thursday night, July 7th from 6-9 PM, Art Hamptons will feature their kick off party and art preview party featuring 5,000 significant works of art to benefit the LongHouse, one of my favorite places in the Hamptons in a special VIP tent. Karyn Mannix graciously invited me to this event as well and for just $100 you can go too by clicking here! The Long House's mission is to exemplify living with art in all of its forms.

The Gateway Bell 2003 by Toshiko Takaezu
The LongHouse Reserve

LongHouse Reserve Garden at Twilight

Founded by Jack Lenor Larsen, who is not from Queens, its collections, magnificent gardens, sculptures and programs reflect world cultures and inspire a creative life. Through its arboretum, sculpture gardens and educational programs, LongHouse brings together art and nature, aesthetics and spirit, with a strong conviction that the arts are central to living wholly and creatively. To join the LongHouse click here or to simply visit, click here. It's a really fabulous place pussycats!

Also, there's a lot going on in the Hamptons in conjuction with Art Hamptons. My friends Ruth Vered and Janet Lehr of the Vered Gallery at 68 Park Place in East Hampton village will be hosting a cocktail reception at their gallery for their new show called, "Art on the Edge" on Saturday, July 9th from 9PM to 11PM. RSVP is required at 631-324-3303. The show will feature new, majorly talented contemporary artists including Peter Buchman, Grant Haffner, Adam Handler, Francesco LoCastro and many other emerging talents who may or may not be from Queens or are Queens, not that that makes a difference!

Born in the '80's by Adam Handler
56" x 58" as shown on MOMA's PS1 Studio Visit site

Ruth and Janet of the Vered Gallery have great eyes for talent and also sell artwork from artist luminaries including Chuck Close, Willem DeKooning, Jackson Pollock, April Gornick, Bert Stern, Pablo Picasso, Larry Rivers, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella as well as many other established dead and living artists whose work is featured in many major fine art museums.

Hacilar by Frank Stella
1999 Cast Aluminum and Steel
Available through Vered Gallery

Chuck Close, Self Portrait
2000 Silkscreen, Artist's Proof, edition of 80
Process and Collaboration by Terrie Sultan (of the Parrish Art Museum)
Available through Vered Gallery

Well Pussycats, I will report back to you on the festivities at Art Hamptons, Karyn Mannix Contemporary's opening and the Vered Gallery when things get going. There's so much going on....and I am sure I will be able to become A Mused (D) by this all! Please come and join me for the festivities and I will keep you updated! Purrs 'n Kisses xoxo

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Spank Me It's My Birthday

Well, it's that time of the year again, my birthday, July 16 is coming up-- a day that I've grown to dread, a day that most Mistresses and Masters celebrate themselves. Dread? Because I only have a limited amount of time to make it in my career as a supermodel before I'm considered to be a saber tooth tiger in the modeling business! Youth culture plays a majorly important role in terms of one's shelf life as a model and certainly in Hollywood and even the music business! This is true for pussycat models and Mistresses of Beauty and Glamour, Mistresses of Musicality and Theatrics as well as Mistresses to the Rich and Famous. The only exception to the rule I can think of is Carmen Dell'Orifice, who has had the longest running career in fashion -- 66 years and just turned 80 years old this past June!

Carmen Dell'Orifice
Photographer: Ruven Afanador
Vanity Fair Italia, March 2011 issue

Carmen is proof positive that beauty exists at every age. She's been a supermodel since the age of 15 and has been the muse to iconic artists and fashion designers including Salvador Dali and Louis Dell'Olio formerly of Anne Klein. Carmen was just recently working the catwalk, modeling for none other than Alberta Ferretti.

Carmen Dell'Orefice for Alberta Ferretti

Carmen Dell'Orifice has been through a lot in her long career and life, having been married 3 times, losing all of her life savings twice: the first time to the stock market in the '80's and 1990's and the second time to Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme. She landed her first Vogue magazine cover at the tender age of 15 - one of the youngest Vogue cover models ever and has been photographed by almost every luminary photographer in the business including, Irving Penn, Gleb Durujinsky, Francesco Scavullo, Melvin Sokolsky, Norman Parkinson and Richard Avedon. Carmen, I have a lot of respect for you as a Mistress of Beauty and Glamour as well as an icon of beauty, fashion and fortitude! You are truly an amazing woman and have more than 9 lives just like I do!

After learning more about Carmen Dell'Orefice and her legacy, I have vowed that I will no longer treat my birthday as a reason to be sad or even celebrate it for a week like some Mistresses do. I vow to make this birthday my Birthday Year -- by celebrating life every day and making the most of even the most difficult situations!

Which brings me to my latest jaunt in Manhattan through what we in the business call the "Garment Center", also known as the Fashion District in Midtown Manhattan. I was catting around on the street one day and happened upon the most fantastic and provocative T-Shirt that said, "Spank Me...It's My Birthday!" It's a bit more fashionable than the one that's pictured here, but you get the point! This one is a recession friendly $16 available here:

Spank Me It's My Birthday Wife Beater T-Shirt

And speaking of spanking, did you know that some pussycats enjoy this very thing? There's a whole phenomenon of cats and Masters and Mistresses who truly enjoy doing this sort of thing to their cats and even to themselves! And it doesn't even need to be their birthdays or their pussycat's birthdays either!

Kitty Spanking Video

The place that my Mistress of Beauty and Adventure loves and that I love too is Kiki de Montparnasse located at 79 Greene Street in SOHO and 8280 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. She likes their lingerie and luxury lifestyle products very much. However, my Mistress of Beauty and Adventure doesn't subscribe to kitten spanking or the other kind either. Considering how much that pussycat loved it, I feel like I'm missing out on something! I'll have to ask her about that!

The luxury lifestyle and lingerie emporium, Kiki de Montparnasse, is inspired by the life of Alice Ernestine Prin (2 October 1901 – 29 April 1953), nicknamed Queen of Montparnasse, known as Kiki de Montparnasse in art circles. According to Wikipedia, she was a French artist, artist's model, nightclub singer, actress, memoirist, and painter. She flourished in, and helped define, the liberated, early 1920s culture of Paris. Adopting a single name, "Kiki", she became a fixture in the Montparnasse social scene and a popular artist model, posing for dozens of artists, including Chaim Soutine,Jean Cocteau, Arno Breker, Alexander Calder, Per Krohg, Hermine David, Pablo Gargallo, Mayo, and Tono Salazar.

Le Violon d'Ingres by Man Ray

Kiki's companion for most of the 1920s was Man Ray, who made hundreds of portraits of her. She is the subject of some of his best-known images, including the notable surrealist image Le Violon d'Ingres pictured above and Noire et Blanche, pictured below.

Noire et Blanche photograph by Man Ray

Kiki de Montparnasse, was created by designer Jennifer Zuccarini and co-founded by Andrew Pollard - the man who re-energized Miss Sixty, Energie, Killah and Sixty clothing brands in the U.S . Kiki de Montparnasse, the luxury fashion and lifestyle brand has garnered widespread recognition and insider fashion acclaim and has freestanding stores in the US an international wholesale business and a successful online store. Kiki de Montparnasse is also a personal favorite of Hollywood celebrities Dita Von Teese, Amy Sacco and Jessica Simpson! To learn more about the brand, read here!

Dita Von Teese
Mistress of Seduction and Modern Burlesque Performance

Here are some of my favorite looks from the Kiki de Montparnasse collection

Kiki "Muse" Satin Brassiere

Kiki de Montparnasse Ingenue Corset pant available on sale here!

Kiki de Montparnasse's classic and elegant, "French Maid"

And speaking of maids, have you heard of the scandal that Dominique Strauss Kahn, the now former President of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential hopeful was involved in?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
and Former French Presidential Hopeful

According to today's New York Post, Dominique refused to pay his "lady of the night" for services rendered and that's what the brouhaha was all about. The chambermaid secretly performed extra services in addition to room cleaning through her local Union at the Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan and then went to the police accusing DSK of rape. DSK has spent over $250,000 on security and rent to stay at a luxury townhouse in Tribeca to be kept under house arrest. Now Cyrus Vance Jr., the NYC's District Attorney has released him on $1M bail but his case is falling apart by the second.

I don't know pussycats, but this story gets more intriguing and comical by the moment. My thoughts are that Masters of the Universe who are "happily" married to heiress wives and work in public positions should think twice about using an immigrant chambermaid from Guinea who lives in AIDS housing for free as an escort. Beyond that, perhaps, these Masters of the Universe shouldn't be married at all if their wives aren't wearing Kiki De Montparnasse lingerie and satisfying them at home!

In order to get yourself and possibly your partner excited if you have one with a pulse, or, to simply get the look of an upscale french chambermaid, unlike Dominique Strauss Kahn's, please visit the Kiki De Montparnasse store at 79 Greene Street in Manhattan or in Los Angeles at 8580 Melrose Avenue and tell them Natasha Finkel sent you! For hours, call 212- 965-8070 in New York or 323-951-9545. See you later pussycats. Now on to July 4th celebrations in the Hamptons! Purrs 'n Kisses and happy Independence Day! Meow!