Maripol & Thalia Mavros Make It 'Tuesday'
When photographer and fashion icon Maripol recently released a collection of personal polaroids and poems in a book called Maripola X, she turned to Brooklyn-based photographer/director Thalia Mavros to translate the project into a short film. The result is Tuesday, a 3-minute video released yesterday that serves as an homage to 1980s downtown New York with a bit of 1960s French edge. In capturing Maripol’s persona, Mavros made it a point to present females—in this case DJ/fashion muse Alix Brown dancing over a track by Léonard Lasry—as empowered beings, making it so much more than your average mindless music video.
Milk Made: How did you get involved with this project?
Thalia Mavros: Maripol’s publisher Adele is a close friend of mine and I have spoken to Maripol in the past. And we were talking about including Maripol in another video that’s coming up soon for CREEP. So we were going to have her star in her video and she looked at my work and she said, “Can you create something for me, because I have this book coming up.” So that’s kind of how it crossed over. And while she was in Paris, Adele’s friend who is a musician, Léonard [Lasry], made music for it. It was two songs, they actually made a single. And when they got back, I was like, “Oh OK. So we should make a music video slash book trailer.” Kind of like a cross media, art project almost. All inspired by Maripol and her past as a downtown "It" girl and artist.
MM: How involved was Maripol in the creative process?
TM: In this case, she had her eyes on it, but she wasn’t too hands on because she wanted to let us play around with it. I told her I wanted to bring — she’s French and downtown New York –- a touch of ‘60s French and a touch of an ’80s vibe. Both of which she kind of inspires me a little bit in those genres of film and music. So that’s as deep as I went with her. I said it would be something simple, based on how the book made me feel and made Alix feel, kind of that lifestyle you want to be a part of when you think of downtown New York in that golden era.
MM: Who did the styling for the video?
TM: Actually Alix [Brown] did. I’ve known her for a long time now. We grew up to music and she already has an impeccable look and very French in a lot of ways. But she’s been able to cultivate this downtown New York persona as well. So I thought she was the perfect blend of the two things that Maripol embodies as well, so she was a bit of my muse and inspiration. I couldn’t go to anybody else. I mean her wardrobe alone had everything in there that we ever needed. She’s as much a fashion person as much as she is a music person for me.
MM: Were you involved in helping Alix come up with those dance moves in the video?
TM: Yeah, yes, yes. She and I… [Laughs] After the fact we thought maybe next time we should hire a choreographer. [Laughs] But we had a lot of fun doing it. Towards the end we were like, “OK. What other dance moves can we break out next?”
MM: What was your favorite part about working on the video?
TM: So many music videos in the last year show women in a light that makes me slightly uncomfortable. And by saying that, I’m not a modest human being and nor do I believe in conservatism. But I think the way female nakedness has been portrayed, even in music videos, bothers me. Because it’s a class of objectification and nudity for nudity’s sake and shock value versus celebrating the female form and femininity and strength in beauty rather than subjugation. It was very important to me for the whole thing that Alix come across as a real female and not just an object, a beautiful object. So I think that, and trying to find a balance. And she’s gorgeous. It’s always fun to shoot beautiful human beings. Playing with the lights – I really enjoyed working with a new crew. It’s a simple, very straight forward video, but I feel like there’s something that’s a subtle statement, an expression of womanhood that was important to express. Did you get a sense of that?
MM: I did actually. I feel like she’s a bit more natural. You don’t have her trying too hard. Kind of going back to the dancing, it brings her down a bit. Any girl can identify with that. Just having fun, dancing around in her room.
TM: Exactly! And I think the great thing about not getting a choreographer was that it wasn’t overdone. It could have gone over the top. But this was something that was very real to both of us. When she got bored, we wanted that to come through. Because she’s not only there as a person; she’s living her own fantasy and we’re taking part, versus she’s putting on a show for us and has to prove herself to us. I’m sick and tired of how many videos from Justin Timberlake. It’s like come on. Really guys, really? There are so many beautiful women in the room and this is what you can do with it? And the next video is for CREEP. They’re a Brooklyn-based band. I did a video for them a couple of years ago with Venus Sky. And they’re doing a new single they have with Sia, so that’s the next I’m shooting in a week and a half.
MM: Can you give us three words to describe the video?
TM: I like the concept of libertine. Femininity, that we talked about. And I think the other part of it that I did love and enjoy is this metamorphosis or transformation that happens to everybody when they move to New York City. They start ridding themselves of everything that was holding them back and they start becoming the creative person they want to be or the person they were afraid to be. I think those are the three concepts.