NiteTalk: Losing Our Heads for Lee Materazzi

Lee Materazzi 1 Resized
Lee Materazzi

Amid the usual hustle and bustle of Artwalk, an inordinate number of swells could be found congregating around the threshold of the Spinello Gallery all buzzing about what they'd just seen inside. On their lips was the name Lee Materazzi, whose show, "Feels Like Home," offered a whole new take on domesticity. This wasn't the first time folks had lost their heads over the artist; nor, for that matter, the first time Materazzi lost her own head for them. The thought-sparking artist has made a career of putting just that appendage in some strange and unusual places.

Can you tell us a bit about the show "Feels Like Home"? This will be my second solo show with Spinello. However, it's my first show in the new space. Included are a series of photographs and videos. ... I've installed a washing machine and clothesline. This is for people to come in and do their laundry throughout the course of the show. 
Your mother is featured in your work. What does she bring to the proverbial table and is it a coincidence that you opened with her on the eve of Mother's Day? My mother has been in a lot of my work over the years. This is the first time that her identity is integral to the concept. One day I wanted to do something really messy and I felt kind of bad asking anyone to volunteer so I handed my mother the camera. When she was younger she was a commercial photographer so this is a very familiar medium to her. It grew into this project of us doing everyday things but with our own twist of course. We would both come up with ideas and discuss who should shoot and who should perform. We know each other so well that it was a very natural collaboration. Mother's Day was a realization when Spinello and I were planning the show around five months back. We decided that it would be an appropriate timing.
What does Mom say about your propensity to immerse your head into whatever comes your way? There is probably nothing that I could do to surprise her. The more complex and difficult the idea, the more insistent she is that she has to be the subject. So, most of the time it's actually her head that's immersed.

What would you say are the oddest places you've put your head? Oddest places I've put my head -- covering it with chip clips was painful however under a bottle of laundry detergent was [also] pretty uncomfortable. It's a toss.
What did it feel like once you had your head embedded? Chip clips left a mark however laundry detergent triggered an allergic reaction. They were both a test of determination to get the shot.

Would it be fair to say your tombstone might read "Off with Her Head"? I hope my subjects don't hold such vengeance

You relocated to Miami straight outta London's Central Saint Martins College. What made you choose the Magic City? I grew up in Miami and had friends and family here -- mother included. I was also really excited about all that is going on in the arts so it was a really easy choice for me.

When you're out and about, where do you most like to go? These days I live in San Francisco; however, when I'm back in Miami, if I'm not hanging out at someone's house or at the gallery, I like to go to Magnum Lounge or The Abbey. And the ocean, of course.

What's coming up for Lee Materazzi? Can't say yet but I'll give you a hint, it will be messy.    

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