Interview: Maggie Dunlap


By Natalie Leonard


Maggie Dunlap is a visual artist attending the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Similar to many young female artists today, Maggie primarily focuses her work on girl culture, adolescence, and a powerful mix between the two. However, she stands out because of an added element of humor, stunning aesthetics and a brave voice. Her work includes not just photography, but illustrations, embroideries, and installation pieces as well. She utilizes many different medias, "because confining myself to one single medium is not relevant or necessary to my practice," she explained. "The mediums I choose for different projects are integral to their respective subjects and content matter. As Allan Kaprow said... 'Young artists of today need no longer say ‘I am a painter’ or ‘a poet’ or ‘a dancer.’ They are simply ‘artists.’ All of life will be open to them.' "

Natalie Leonard: Hi Maggie! If you were able to describe yourself in three words to someone, what would you say?
Maggie Dunlap: 💦👼😈💖🐶 👻🎃🎱🍼🍒 

Nat: Could you talk a little about the vintage Polaroid photos that you gave to us?
Maggie: The Polaroid photos I sent you were taken by my Mom on her high school trip in 1971. These sincere, honest snapshot style photos have the dreamy timeless aesthetic that myself and so many of peers are drawn to, and I find it funny that they were literally lost and then found by me.

Nat: This month’s theme for the publication is Lost & Found, could you talk about a time in your life that you felt lost? Whether that be with your work, personal life, school, or a time you physically got lost getting somewhere?
Maggie: I’m lost all the time, how could I not be?

Nat: Who or what do you draw inspiration from?
Maggie: I’m inspired by all my peers and friends making powerful, disruptive work right now.

Nat: Your piece “Jungfrukällan” is extremely powerful and one of my favorite works of yours. From the bras sewn to the pillows, the blood stains on the mattress, and the text scribbled on the wood, could you explain your inspiration and the meaning behind the piece.
Maggie: Around the time of this piece’s first incarnation, the Steubenville rape trial was all over the news. I’m not going to explain what happened, you can Google it, but I’ll say that the crime itself and the manner in which it was covered was, unfortunately, a perfect example of rape culture in our country. As a feminist and a HUMAN BEING I had a lot of anger and immersed myself into what many would deem “women’s work” (A title that I have gladly adopted). I sewed, built, embroidered, “decorated”, a nest-like environment that I encouraged people to enter as if it was a blanket fort. It made an unintentional memorial to every victim of sexual violence who is shamed, questioned, trivialized, simply not believed.

Nat: What's your favorite thing about New York?
Maggie: You can cry in public and no one cares.

girls- we run this motha.jpg

You can find more of Maggie's work here.