Monday, May 30, 2011


Pin Up Originals


The story of Kat Gun's involvement in Pin Up Players/Originals is one sealed by understanding. Way back in late 2008, I talked to my friend Kat about a new concept I was working on; referred to as the "pin-up thing". Being a bit of an authority on the subject, she become my go-to-girl and was even cast early on as the spades suit. As the other sets began to be cast and shot, I felt a bit of a casting switch was in order for the project to round off nicely. This meant my dear friend Kat would be cut from the spades suite. However, being an artist herself, Kat completely understood the process of my creative decision making.

Kat's help with Pin Up Players would include more then just being a model. She helped with everything from color schemes, design, write ups and everything in between. Eventually Kat was cast as the Joker and I made up for my indecision by making her prints the most limited edition of all the models included. Proving her understanding was beyond that of just another collaborator, Kat helped the project from start to finish giving fresh perspective and inside knowledge about the art community that helped shape Pin Up Players to it's eventual release.

Recently, I sat down with model/artist Kat Gun to ask a few questions about her involvement in Pin Up Players/Originals, her passion for art in general and how her past year has been since it's release.

Photo: Jon MMMayhem

AR: Ah my darling Kat Gun. Helluva year it's been. Can you tell me a little bit about your history with the art of Pin-up and why you agreed to be a part of the the project?

KG: I think my interest in Pin-up was initially sparked by the old Hollywood starlets back when I was in high school. In my search for alternative ideas of beauty and sexiness besides the trends of the times, I eventually stumbled upon pictures of Bettie Page and the wonderful world of Pin-up. It met my need and desire to find women that owned their bodies and sex appeal without the weird shame that is bestowed upon females. I agreed to be a part of the project because I love you, Adam, and love your work... and was stoked to be a part of this revitalization of Pin-up.

AR: You're so sweet. I remember at the time we started this you had done a few photo-shoots, but were very familiar with the art scene. Since you have played muse for both photogs and artists alike, do you feel there is a difference in working with an fine artist as opposed to a photographer?

I've found there is definitely a difference, mainly in respect to content and process. When working with a photographer I think the whole look of and idea behind the photo can change while the shoot is taking place. I think "evolution" is an appropriate word; a photo shoot can evolve and actually make an idea more rounded. When I model for a painting, the idea is usually pretty set and I just come in and sit, or have the reference photos taken and then that's it. I don't prefer one over the other, though, even though working with a photographer is almost always more difficult and grueling.

Kat Gun in Every Girl Goes to Hell by Buddy Nestor

AR: Pin Up Players had 2 solo shows, received write ups in independent magazines and was promoted all over the Tri-state area. As a whole, it helped me realize all the loose ends behind releasing a project of this magnitude. Do you feel the project was helpful to you in exploring new avenues as an artist and/or model?

KG: Absolutely! By being close to you and not just a model I was able to see just how much blood, sweat and tears you put into this project, and it got me thinking about my dedication to my craft. I was glad to get back into writing by writing an article for the project, and to join you in the brainstorming and creative process.

Being an artist and a model, it must be even harder to define your style and keep things within the boundaries of what your willing to explore. How would you define your style as an artist and do you think your model work compliments your current body of artistic works? Do you try to keep the same themes or is it all on big artistic pot of inspiration?

Oh this is a hard one.. I definitely have a style, and I definitely have reoccuring themes with my painting. I'm lumped into the Pop Surrealist and/or New Brow art catagory, and usually conceptually play with ideas of death, mortality, sexuality and horror stuff. My continuing involvement in modeling, and the opening up to more extreme ideas has influenced the rawness and sexuality of my current paintings.. and I like it.

The Virus has been Spread by Kat Gun 

What inspires you personally about the retro themes, not only in pin up, but also in the art, music and movies you enjoy?

Most of my media inspiration comes from old school horror movies, and heavy metal music. I love Vincent Price and Bette Davis and their amazing acting skill and undying creepiness, Dario Argento's movies, and bands like Pig Destroyer and Through The Eyes of The Dead. The retro themes that I tend to enjoy are absoluetly prevalent in the black & white horror films I adore so much.

Tell us about your past year since the release. I know personally it's been a huge year for you.

*Sigh* I'm exhausted! The biggest news in my world is that I had a little girl, Ophelia Elizabeth, back in August of 2010. She has to be the coolest person I've ever met, and I love being a mom. I must admit it has been difficult with many sleepless nights trying to get back on track with my modeling and painting career, but worth it! I also bought a house in South Philadelphia last year where I actually have an art studio space, so that's been helpful with all the pieces I've been slaving over!

AR: Finally, what's next for Kat Gun? Do you have any new sets or shows planned for 2011?

KG: I have been, and continue to be, Super Woman this year. I just went down to Washington DC for the opening of Art Whino's G40: The Summit group art extravaganza. I was asked to paint a skate deck for the skate deck show, and had an absolute blast doing it! The huge group show ended up looking amazing with murals, wheat-paste art, the skate decks, installations, and you name it!

I'm also preparing for a 60 person group art show that's here in Philly on June 3rd 2011 called Speaking In Tongues. It has one heck of a line up of artists, and a killer curator (Buddy Nestor) and I'm proud to be a part of it! I also have a pending solo show this summer, and a pending photo shoot that includes some weapons and very little clothing. I'm psyched for 2011!!!

Kat Gun’s narrative is one that ranges from vintage fashion and a love for fine art, to zombies and punk rock. This esteemed Philadelphia based artist and photographer is a newcomer to the modeling world, but is making leaps and bounds with one of her first major collaborative projects being Pin Up Originals, and the Joker cards for the Pin Up Players. Formidable!

BIG THANKS to Kat Gun for the catch up time.

We still have very few Limited Edition Prints in the Pin Up Players SHOP. Get 'em while you still can!

Adam Ramirez © 2011 
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