cool Girls

7

She’s Alice in her own sex-positive feminist wonderland, a potion-brewing sorceress with an art director’s eye, and she lives inside of a chromatic kaleidoscope that filters out boys and banality and sees everything in glistening color. Even her name, Maisie Cousins, suggests an otherworldly being. Her compositions often evoke food photography, except with a pornographic prurience and post-digestive chaos reminiscent of Marilyn Minter. Though she speaks in the hedonistic language of color, we translated into English for our chat with her from across the pond. [Click through on waste-magazine.com].

What’s your history with art and photography? 

I never excelled in any other subject at school, it was the only thing I wanted to do! How did your transition to film come about? 

I think it was always there and naturally needed to happen. 

Tell me a bit about your technical process. How do you get such vivid colors and textures in your work?

Well I use digital as it’s a much more fluid way of working. I use film occasionally but I love the endless possibilities with digital, I like to make things up as I go along and see what’s working and adding things as I shoot, I couldn’t achieve the same with film, although I have really tried to. 

What’s your process of art directing your shoots and finding models? Who are the people you photograph?

Most of the time my models are my friends, or people I know through the internet. I’ve never used models through an agency and don’t think I ever want to. I like the shoots to be a lot like hanging out, lots of snacks and some drink and just being silly! I want my models to have a good time or at least feel sexy whilst posing.

What have been some sources of inspiration for your aesthetic? 

I usually just trust my instincts but there are definitely things that visually inspire me like 80’s music videos, pornos, Japanese posters, disco music, loads of movies, loads of animation and even TV shows, particularly comedy from 1990s-2000. 

Personal philosophies around your work?

I think sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own ego when showing work online, I think its important to not sell out to a ’re-bloggable’ aesthetic. I also think it’s important to not just look at other photography but lots of inspiration from everywhere! Also to have fun and do it for yourself.

Where do you see your work going in the future? Any exhibitions/features/editorials coming up?

I have lots planned! I’m currently planning on having my first solo show somewhere, which will be so fun! I’m also just finishing up my degree so as soon as that’s over I can’t wait to really focus on my art platform TART. (www.tartzine.co.uk).  

See more of her work here:

http://maisiecousins.4ormat.com/

http://maisie-cousins.tumblr.com/

Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)

—  Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.“

—  Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl