Whitehot Magazine

Interview with Jay Miriam and Maya Fuhr

Jay Miriam and Maya Fuhr collaboration. Courtesy of the artists.


Jay Miriam reclined on the toilet as Maya Fuhr sipped her wine, both squeezed into the bathroom of Jay’s Brooklyn studio. In dim lighting, the artists caught up while bouncing ideas off of one another, fleshing out the collaboration planned for their evening. Jay reclined on her toilet seat as Maya applied her makeup. Together they make a cool breeze on a warm night. The two artists have a kinship forged in friendship, which has produced previous collaborations. They also share a similar color aesthetic and subject matter in their respective mediums. Maya, a film photographer from Canada, and Jay, an expressionistic painter from Brooklyn. The artists make a perfect pair. Between sips of wine and bites of pastry, the plan was set. Maya invited Jay to have a look in the medicine cabinet mirror. “Okay, this is great.” “It’s not too much?” Maya questioned, knowing it was just right. “I should wear my makeup like this, every day.”

The collaboration began and ended that night in 2018. Maya returned to Canada the next day and eventually had the photographs developed. Fast forward three years and both artists realized they never published their series. Timothy Ryan White recently spoke with Maya Fuhr and Jay Miriam, to see the secret series that emerged from their one-night stand collaboration, and Whitehot Magazine is excited to share them. 

TIMOTHY RYAN WHITE: How did you two meet?

JAY MIRIAM: I don't remember what year it was, 2014 or 15 maybe. Or is that way off? I saw Maya's work and instantly had a girl crush. I wrote to her saying next time she was in NY we should meet up.

MAYA FUHR: I think it was 2015!  Jay asked to paint me, and I jumped @ the opportunity.  I loved her work & always enjoy spontaneously meeting new people.  I was immediately comfortable when she welcomed me in.

Jay Miriam and Maya Fuhr collaboration. Courtesy of the artists.

TRW: What is it that you like about one another’s art? 

JM: I always felt that Maya's photographs capture the contemporary spirit in a timeless way.

MF: I love Jay's rounded figures & lines and of course, colour palette. 

TRW: Do you see any similarities in each other's work?

JM: I do. We have a similar color palette. And I think we both share a secret fetish for still lives.

MF: I agree, we kind of fetishize objects in the same way.  Items on the table or in hands are always secretly trying to steal the show. 

TRW: What do you two miss most about normal life, during this pandemic? 

JM: I've been in quarantine for over a year now. Hard to say what I miss most, because there is so much to miss. Aside from all the obvious ones, parties, eating out, going to museums, traveling, family, friends etc., I really miss wearing red lipstick.

MF: Sweating and dancing with friends!  Also, the intimacy of close talking at galleries & parties ~ those moments when it's too loud to hear and you're caught in these little, fun conversations with new people.  These things I took for granted!

Jay Miriam and Maya Fuhr collaboration. Courtesy of the artists.

TRW: What are you working on now and has the apocalypse had any influence?

JM: I'm working on a new body of work for an upcoming solo exhibition at Gruin Gallery, in Los Angeles, for October 2021. I also have a solo exhibition at Galleria Richter Fine Art, in Rome Italy, in 2022. I'm really excited about both shows and the paintings I'm working on now. There are also a few group shows between now and then --- and I think the pandemic has helped me dig deeper into my imagination because of quarantine.

MF: I have some art in NADA House, New York in May (with Patel Brown Gallery) so I’m actually working on a new photographic aluminum piece that I’ll present in a new way ~ it's rounded and flat.  

The industrial // harsh tactility of aluminum is apocalyptic in a sense because it's so damn sturdy.  It lasts forever, it's water resistant, it's strong.  The actual image is soft and textural but presenting it this way gives it a sense of permanency.  This year has made me more minimal and grounded ~ so I see a rock solid form as an appealing and sacred outlet to get this sturdy feeling across because it's something that's certain and unbreakable.  I feel strong. 

Jay Miriam and Maya Fuhr collaboration. Courtesy of the artists.

TRW: What's the first thing you plan to do if life ever gets back to normal? 

JM: Champagne and oysters with all of our friends.

MF: Hopefully going for champagne and oysters with Jay in NYC! 

TRW: Can we look forward to you working together in the future and what might that look like?

JM: Definitely, and who knows. I'm open to anything.

MF: Yes!  It's really hard to say ~ it's a budding collaboration. WM



Timothy Ryan White

Timothy Ryan White is a writer, born and raised in New York City, who only knows the four cardinal directions when in Manhattan. He Graduated from Hunter College with a BA in Creative Writing. You can reach him at Timothyryanwhite.com.

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