Maya Fuhr's Images Of 'Garbage Girls' Are Gloriously Unladylike
In 2013, photographer and Milk favorite Maya Fuhr made a major splash with a series called “Garbage Girls.” Shot for VICE, the photos depicted Fuhr’s friends (styled by artist Chloe Wise) lounging in their bedrooms. But while images of pretty girls hanging out in artfully decorated rooms pretty much dominate the internet, Fuhr’s pictures showed something different: the environments in which the girls are lounging are absolutely disgusting, filled to the brim with dirty clothes and rotting food that, according to Fuhr, was “so moldy that it looked like falafel.” The other most disgusting piece of garbage? “A tampon, stored in water.”
The images are nasty to be sure. And yet they’re also totally refreshing. They’re honest, unsanitized depictions of the way a lot of women actually live, and they are distinctly, gloriously unladylike.
Three years after the original series was released, Fuhr brought the pictures back in a somewhat unlikely location: Tel Aviv. In Israel on a Birthright trip, she stumbled upon the Artemisia Gallery while dreamy photographer and designer Mayan Toledano‘s work was on display. “Serendipitously they recognized me and my work and asked me to come display my series,” said Fuhr. Not only did she bring back “Garbage Girls,” but she showcased the images along with a full-on trash installation.
“The installation was a fake set I created inspired by genuine moments with my garbage girls,” said Fuhr. “It illustrated how beautiful their mess was in all its mystery and color.” It was a pretty authentic set up. “I had friends in Tel Aviv donate junk and vibrators,” said Fuhr. “I even had them collect their cigarette butts when we went out.”
So, is Fuhr messy herself? “Mine is the kind of bedroom that is meticulously organized in only ways that I can understand,” she said. “A bystander may see it differently because I have a lot of stuff. It’s definitely not messy though!”
Stay tuned to Milk for more dirty girls.