Natalie Pavloski’s nails are dangerously on point. From cinematic motifs to the Nike swoosh, her work reappropriates the good, the bad and the ugly in popular culture, with nail concepts set to empower. Having painted nails for Creatures of Comfort and Oscar de la Renta during Fashion Week, the Melbourne native combines a knowing eye with impressive technique, leaving no hand unperfected. This Thursday she’ll be hosting a Pop-Up Salon at The Newsstand, the underground — literally — zine store curated by Lele Saveri and Alldayeveryday.
As Natalie transforms the stand into a pseudo-functioning salon, she will be releasing "Nails," a 16-page collaboration with photographer David Brandon Geeting and designer Nathaniel Matthews. Incorporating handguns, rosary beads and R-rated decals, her hands submit to prayer and provocation in this aesthetically enticing series. Milk Made caught up with Pavloski to talk shop and the inspiration behind “Nails.”
Milk Made: What can we expect to experience at the Nail Salon?
Natalie Pavloski: On the night of the zine release, we will have the work being displayed along with live nail painting. Fake plants, fold out chairs and stacks of magazines, everything you would expect to see at a nail salon.
MM: What inspired this event?
NP: Classic nail salon imagery.
MM: What was it like collaborating with other creatives on the project?
NP: It was exciting to have an idea come to life with the meeting of minds. I originally brought up the idea to Nathaniel Matthews who encouraged me to develop the project by publishing the zine, curating the show and making the connection between David Brandon Geeting and myself. David’s style helped bring together the commercial and creative aesthetic we were going for.
MM: Why the Newsstand?
NP: It was the perfect space to launch the zine as well as make the transformation from zine shop to nail salon. Lele Saveri is very supportive of projects like this so it was only natural for the show to be held at the Newsstand.
MM: Where do you get your ideas from?
NP: Anywhere from Sotheby’s to the 99 cent store.
MM: Is there a nail artist who really inspires you?
NP: My mentor and friend Alicia Torello — who introduced me to the prospect of painting nails professionally — has been a huge source of inspiration. Other nail artists who I find inspiring are Naomi Yasuda, Madeline Poole and Sophie Harris-Greenslade.
MM: What’s your favorite set so far?
NP: My "Jesus" set which is featured in the show.
MM: What nail idea are you working on next?
NP: They’re always coming… I make notes in my phone constantly! I’ve been playing around with custom homemade decal designs recently, amongst other things. I’m also working on an international project that requires me to send nails via post.
MM: When was the first time you painted nails?
NP: When I stopped biting them at 16!
MM: So that was your main motivation to start painting?
NP: Yes. [Laughs] There’s life after you stop biting your nails, girls.
The Pop-Up Salon opens Thursday, January 9 from 6-9pm at The Newsstand, located at the Lorimer / Metropolitan intersection of the L and G.
Photos by David Brandon Geeting