It is not a secret that we are desperately fond of the nostalgic pastel photographs taken by Maya Fuhr, and her recent collaboration with Nox Shop has stolen our gaze. Making sex toys appear candy sweet, Maya’s recent series features soft, sensual still lifes that juxtapose dildo’s with idiosyncratic memorabilia. Excited by our interest in this project, Maya has drawn from her archive several other collaborations with sex shops. “I want to normalise using sex toys both in solitude and with partners, and create more open conversations among people in regards to what really pleasures them”, she explains.
Maya prefers to collaborate with brands with whom she shares a “personal affiliation and a common ideology”. The artist was friends with the founder of Nox Shop, an online boutique based in Montreal whose “goal is to develop the space between sexual wellness and lifestyle”, and when asking for the products had a “big purple dildo” delivered to her sketchily at a party, “like they were contraband”. “I find that creativity comes so naturally because I support the product in my daily life”, the artist explains, “I see the beauty in the actual objects and less in the ‘brand’ itself”. The products at Nox Shop appear like works of art, with soft curves, smooth edges and velvet textures, like crafted sculptures. In her still lifes each toy is imagined “in a world of their own”, with the other elements that make up the photograph slotted around them.
“Once I have the tangible item, that’s where the fun begins”, Maya explains to It’s Nice That, “I start moulding shapes out of clay and shopping for props at places like Salvation Army, Chinatown and hardware stores”. She selects an “object that acts as a stage to hold the ‘star of the show’”, for example, a retro horse statue carrying a vibrator; the dark mint material paralleled with the faded green of the mane. “I am a pretty nostalgic person”, Maya tells us, “I’ve collected a lot of trinkets and compilations of significance throughout the years”. The horse featured in this still life is “actually sitting upon [her] grandpa’s old bookend”. Maya’s still lifes are playful and accessible, with a sugar sweet sense of sexuality; they give us an intimate glimpse into her “world of pleasure and vulnerability”.