YUMMY GUMMY LATEX ‘FOR SALE’ – REBECCA
BREAKING: GERMAN FETISH BALL VENUE
ORIGINAL SKIN TWO CLUB: ISMS TALK
PARTY LIKE IT’S 2023: A NEW YEAR OF EVENTS
MISS MEATFACE: HANDBOOK FOR MEATMAIDS
HARNESS & MANE: NOVEMBER COVER
GFB 2022 REPORT PART 1: JULY COVER
BLACKLICKORISH LATEX + STASSIE X KYLIE
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
(Self-published glossy photo-book:
£30/£32 plus p&p)
Reviewed by Tony Mitchell
Keeping Up Appearances, artist Kat Toronto’s title for this glossy collection of digital photos featuring her Miss Meatface alter ego, is not just a nod to her fondness for the 1990s BBC sitcom of the same name.
It is also, Kat confesses, “a reference to my state of mind and mental health”.
She’s referring here to the tough time she and husband Garry Vanderhorne have been going through since the pandemic struck, including the loss of his Resistance Gallery venue, with its devastating impact on the couple’s finances.
As a result, Kat found herself struggling with the original publishing schedule for Miss Meatface: Kat Toronto — the Circa Press book planned as a celebration specifically of her Polaroid self-portraiture.
The upshot of this was that Circa ended up publishing another volume of fetishy Polaroid self-portraiture — Boudoir by Ifa Brand — first. The Circa Meatface project’s Kickstarter launch was rescheduled for February 2022, with publication projected for this July.
Circa had been using crowdfunding successfully to finance high quality fetish/erotic photography books since moving into the genre with its publication of Steve Diet Goedde’s book Extempore in 2019.
So it was a shock to all concerned when the fundraiser for Miss Meatface: Kat Toronto stalled at about one-third of its £20,000 target. This meant the project didn’t get the funding it needed to continue with its July publication goal.
Consequently, Circa boss David Jenkins has decided to put publication back by a year to 2023, with the hope that by then, circumstances will be more favourable, enabling the project to be successfully revived.
However, those of us who are fans of the Miss Meatface oeuvre need not wait until 2023 to enjoy the fruits of her labour in print form.
That’s because Kat recently self-published Keeping Up Appearances, a collection of her digital Meatface photography in high quality ‘mag-book’ format.
This hybrid print style combines the size (near-A4) and bulk of a glossy magazine with the heavier (170gsm) paper and stiffer (350gsm) covers of paperback photo-books.
Its 56 pages feature Miss Meatface digital photos from the years 2017–2021, many of which are seen here for the first time.
By November 2021, Kat had managed to save up enough money to print a stock of books for her webshop. This means copies
ordered from her get dispatched immediately — there’s no waiting for your order to be printed by an ‘on demand’ operation.
“I usually publish a small Polaroid photo zine each year,” she explains. “But as the Circa Polaroid book’s Kickstarter was originally going to launch in November 2021, I thought it best not to do a Polaroid-related thing the same month. Which is why I stuck to all-digital stuff for Keeping Up Appearances.”
As you may be aware, Kat uses digital photography to set up and rehearse her Polaroid shoots. This makes very good sense, as Polaroid is an expensive medium where waste needs to be minimised, while digital allows almost infinite experimentation at virtually no cost in materials.
For years now, pretty much every Meatface Polaroid shoot has spawned a complementary archive of digital variations comprising both production/set-up shots and images intended as final versions in their own right.
And being able to view a careful selection of them in their full glory on these pages, with the full-spectrum colour, shininess and detail of the original scenes faithfully preserved, is a real treat.
If you’re a Miss Meatface connoisseur, you might recognise some of the set-ups in Keeping Up Appearances from the work Kat has published online.
But closer examination will reveal that the book’s images mostly differ, not only (obviously) from Polaroids published from the same shoot, but also from any digital frames chosen for publication online, where BDSM content is more policed.
Being all full page size, the images in Keeping Up Appearances are more in-your-face than their Polaroid equivalents.
For many fans attracted to her intentionally kitsch styling, the detail visible in Meatface’s accessories and background décor will be a delight. And Gary’s supporting role as MeatMaid in around 20 of the shots adds greatly to the overall perviness quotient of what’s on offer.
Meanwhile, for rubber lovers in particular, the surreal ways latex is featured here take it in completely different directions from what must surely now be categorised as merely conventionally bizarre fetish scenarios!
Keeping Up Appearances can be viewed as a legitimate standalone collection of Meatface digital work, with likely appeal both to fetish fans and edgy art lovers. That is certainly my take on it.
Alternatively you might see it as a timely stop-gap while the Circa book is on hold, or a must-have because you’re a collector with completist tendencies.
I consider it capable of satisfying any or all of those needs, not to mention probably more I haven’t even thought of yet.
56-page full-colour glossy paperback photo book
Signed by the artist and featuring her digital photography from the years 2017-2021
28 x 21 cm
350gsm gloss cover, 170gsm gloss pages.
Published November 2021
Buy from the Miss Meatface webshop at £30 + £3.80 p&p OR…
Buy from the ImpermDelects Etsy shop at £32 + £3.80 p&p
Orders shipped within the UK are sent via
Royal Mail Tracked 48
Buy from the ImpermDelects Etsy shop at £32 + shipping
Typical EU shipping rates:
Netherlands, Germany etc: £10
Typical US shipping rate: £13
International orders are shipped via Royal Mail International Tracked
After successfully using Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns for all his previous fetish/erotic photo-book projects, Circa Press boss David Jenkins found the failure of his latest Kickstarter in February/March of this year bewildering, to say the least.
“It was all very strange,” he told me a few days after the campaign closing date. “It took off very sweetly, on a very solid trajectory, but then suddenly flatlined and never recovered.”
When something like this suddenly doesn’t follow an established pattern, you’re bound to wonder why. David voiced the suspicion that Facebook and Instagram promo effort wasn’t reaching as many people as before.
But he also noted that his previous backers — whom he described as “a pretty small community” — were not getting behind the latest project in their usual numbers.
David wondered if it was because Kat was perceived as “more art than kink”.
Personally I’d say her work is a refreshing blend of both. I think there are other external factors that might help to explain what happened.
Not least of these being the likely effect of Russia invading Ukraine on February 24, one third of the way through the Circa campaign.
The massive humanitarian fundraising effort this event engendered might well have diverted funds from people who would otherwise have reserved £50 or more to treat themselves to a high quality fetish photo-art book.
No one could blame anyone who felt their spare cash that month was better directed towards helping Ukrainians. I know Kat sympathises with that view.
But other factors might also have played into the fundraising shortfall; for example, Circa’s decision to schedule two fetishy Polaroid self-portraiture books one after the other.
Given that Polaroid work is a specialist category within the overall fetish photography genre, to publish two such books in a row might look to many like over-emphasis of one niche style at the expense of a more diverse fetish book list.
If my instincts are correct, delaying the Meatface book for a year — and publishing a stylistically completely different fetish monograph in the meantime — could be enough to give Circa success with Meatface second time around. TONY MITCHELL
Fetishistas February Cover Interview: Miss Meatface/Kat Toronto