Author(s): Dominic Johnson
- First monograph on one of the world's leading feminist photographers, Kat Toronto - Kat Toronto's photographs offer a unique interpretation of female erotic art - Brings together 250 Polaroid images, captured over the past six years Kat Toronto was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently resides in London. In 2010, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer, which three years later led to a full hysterectomy - a traumatic procedure that alienated the artist from her body. Toronto developed her alter ego, 'Miss Meatface', as a way to process that trauma and to give her an outlet to explore her sexuality beyond what is typically expected of those who have a womb. "I found myself stopping to think about what the heck gender really was", she recalls, "and why society historically placed so much emphasis on sculpting gender stereotypes." In the beginning, she experimented with special effects makeup and took self-portraits with a Polaroid camera. "That's where the Meatface thing came from", she says. Then gradually, as she explored her relationship with the fetish community and reflected on her personal history, 'Miss Meatface' began to evolve: "it's interesting, how with the twists and turns that my life takes, she just kind of goes with it and reveals something new to me every time." Wearing masks and dressing in fetish-wear is a joyous process for Toronto, as it liberates her from the restraints set on her physical body by a society obsessed with defining and policing gender. In her Miss Meatface self-portraiture, Toronto stages fetishized domestic scenes that play with dominance and submission - games of power that mirror heterosexual power hierarchies - while her sexually ambiguous figures subvert conventional standards of beauty, gender, and power. In the world of 'Miss Meatface', she says, the role of homemaker is not the stereotypical ideal of feminine domestic submission, it is one of ultimate control over her domain. This book, Kat Toronto's first large-scale publication, brings together some 250 scenes from 'Miss Meatface's' life over the past six years, drawn from locations in the US and UK, and captured on Polaroid.