“Cette chienne a du coeur…”
She couldn’t have said it any better. This bitch has he(Art)— and talent. Melissa known to many as Frenchie (because she is French-duh!) but she has definitely earned her New York stripes. She is an amazing photographer and a beautiful person.
You might have spotted her at a party or some Art event, making her way through the crowd taking random pictures, donning several cameras around her neck, as if it’s the new must have accessory piece.
To say the least, she is always ready to
a verite moment in time.
Her iPhone camera has become her third eye in seeing the world, where she uses hipstamatic app to capture some amazing retro-rad images.
Her most recent *ongoing project ‘boxes’, are a series of nude portraits placed in miniaturized boxes.
She collaborated with Alexis “Sueme” Mena (another buzzing local artist) to add another dimension of art with the use of body painting.
Some of her subjects utilizes props to tell their stories while others immerse themselves within the concept of having just their emotions to work with.
The use of actual boxes, literally gives us a peak inside their worlds that at times is consumed with either happiness, passion, rage, restriction, bliss and sometimes sadness.
When asked about this project Melissa said, “it is something very inspiring to show beauty to it’s simplest form, with no background information, no set up, only nudity to tell a story, a feeling.”
*Note: this is an ongoing project so if you want to be a part of it, HIT HER UP!
But my favorite series of hers takes me back to a Prince song that I know you know and it goes a little something like this
“…you don’t have to be rich to be my girl, you don’t have to be cool to rule my world. Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with. I just want your extra time and your (muah, muah, muah, muah, muah)…kiss.”
Grab your chapsticks, because it’s all about the ‘Lips’…
These sultry lips makes you want to grab one of her subject and lick their lips off (tmi?-whatever). When asked about the ‘Lip’ series Melissa said, “it just comes down to one thing. I am obsessed with lips.” Me too! Well, just my own and those of the lucky bastard who gets to kiss me .
But Ms. Frenchie’s series started with her taking a few shots of a pair of lips that were familiar, her then boyfriend but then branched out to friends whom she said “…have very pretty lips.”
Some of the images incorporates other elements such as nutella, sesame and sugar. Can you say YUM. But besides these lips looking deliciously kissable and yummy, they give you a more detailed look on a part of the body that does so much more than talk. As Melissa puts it, “….just like eyes, lips can be very expressive. A smile can be very contagious, but not smiling can mean so many different things.” –hmm
Here’s what Frenchie had to say about being an artist…
What do you think makes a great artist?
…basically everyone is an artist, we all create daily. Whether or not we realize it, we all do… Modern Art redefined art as being a message. Art was talent, with or without a message. For example, a portrait was art. But a portrait could also be so much more… like the Mona Lisa, a portrait yes, but what a portrait! There are so many questions about it. That portrait alone could be described a million different ways. Is the subject a woman or a man? Is there a message there? Even though it was believed that the Mona Lisa was a woman, it is not certain, what does that say about society at the time, the way people dressed, etc? So many deeper questions about it… but nowadays, art is not as demanding, or more demanding depending on the point of view. A lot of the modern arts have a social message, or some kind of message, and if the message is strong enough, then the actual artistic part of the piece is less important. I remember going to the MOMA with my mother a few years ago, and part of the art pieces was blinds on the floor. I do not remember the message. I just remember thinking that anybody can be an artist now, as long as a message/story is present. Just putting blinds on the floor gets you a spot at the MOMA….
…blinds on the floor!?
Artists are said to have muse(s), who is a(muse)ing you or entertaining your creative spirit these day?
There are a few people who inspire me, in different ways…. a few people inspire me to create, to learn more about my art, a few others inspire me to go out and see what the art world is about at the time. Some people inspire me immediately… meaning when I meet them I want to take their photos. It could be their look, or their personality, their enthusiasm for arts, their willingness to contribute to arts. And there is always the person I love, not always the same person, not always around, but there is always that one person I want to show something, that I am being productive in a positive way. Even if it’s not to my own art, even if that person can’t see it, I like to think about it and think that “if that person was around that person would be proud.”
What’s next for you? Are you working on anything right now?
Well.. it’s hard to be a struggling artist (tell me about it)… my creations depends sadly on my financial situation, not necessarily because I can’t create without money, but I have a bunch of projects in mind, that I can’t wait to start. In the meantime, I am freelancing here and there…
As an Independent Artist, what are some of your hopes for your work?
Well, the main thing would be to be able to live off my art. Even though I’ve been doing it for a few years, it’s not that lucrative yet. After that I would love to be able to inspire others, hire others, teach others! I love kids and would love to teach kids on how to take photos. I would love to be able to, through my success, help others succeed as well…
(tears…I told you she has he(Art))
When did you know that you were an artist? And when did you know you were a photographer?
I’ve always been into arts but never thought I was creative enough to be “an artist”… I was always very enthusiastic about arts, not the most creative. I knew I was into visual arts, films, photography… visual arts were and are my passion, and I always knew that I couldn’t work a 9 to 5 behind a desk job. But when I moved to New York, I got labeled as an artist since I had no schedule and made a living as a photographer and video editor, hehe.
Since its the month of the ladies (dead or alive) what bad-ass female artist (all mediums included) would you like to have tea and talk with?
Well… I think I would love to have coffee (she meant Cafe’) with Frida Kahlo. Such an inspiring strong woman, very talented, but oh so strong! Amazing woman!
Well rumor has it, she fancied the french gals –>; hint, hint Jo Baker (so she’s not French by birth but she made France her hood)
But who wouldn’t want to be fancied by Ms. Kahlo. She’s beautiful, amazing and one hardcore Artista.
If you want to know more about Ms.Melissa ‘Frenchie’ Segal, check out her website:
and like her on FB.
And this is Pat for pG reminding you to
…follow your he(Art).</p