Nomi & Martine

Singer-songwriter Nomi Ruiz, was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY on a heavy dose of Hip Hop, Freestyle, Pop and House Music .  As a child, she began composing songs around Hip-Hop heavy street samples. Her velvety vocals, personal lyrical content and dark melody lines found refuge in these raw arrangements, creating a unique brand of soul music. Her debut album, ‘Lost In Lust’ was compared to a union between Sade on vocals with The Rza on beats and would put her in line with a movement of artists who have changed the landscape of contemporary music.  

Never conforming to one musical style, she rose to prominence in the Electronic Dance scene as the smoky guest vocalist for Hercules & Love Affair, after appearing on the songs, “You Belong” and “Hercules Theme”.  She was referred to as “the one girl to follow” by French Vogue and “boasting the air of a future pop icon” by The Guardian. Their song ‘Hercules Theme’, performed and co-written by Ruiz, was used as the theme song for the 2009 Oscar’s and appeared on the TV series ‘Nip/Tuck’.  She performed for Karl Lagerfeld at the Chanel Mobile Art Exhibit designed by the late Zaha Hadid then continued on as a solo artist under the name Jessica 6.

The first Jessica 6 album ’See The Light’ combined Electronic Dance with her natural R&B/Soul stylings.  It was released by Peacefrog Records. Acadamy Award nominee ANOHNI appeared on the song ‘Prisoner Of Love’.  Her song ‘White Horse’ reached over 2 million hits on YouTube and was featured in campaigns for Vogue & Thierry Mugler. Ruiz appeared in a steamy campaign for Mugler and has performed for the likes of Dior Homme, NARS, Steven Klein, Tiffany & Co and Tommy Hilfiger.  

The sophomore Jessica 6 album titled ‘The Capricorn’, written entirely by Ruiz and produced by House & Techno DJs from across the globe, was called “seductive, dark, smart, and as catchy as Miss Jackson’s greatest hits” by i-D Magazine.  Noisey declared “her first release since 2011 is a banger!” She added dancers Georgia Sanford & Viva Soudan to the mix creating an electrifying live show which flawlessly compliments the club heavy sound.

Nomi has become a champion in the LGBTQ community after sharing the story of her trans experience in an indepth interview with V-Magazine and Huff Post Live.  She is now a part of the Smirnoff Sound Collective, a program supported by Mixmag that aims to tackle dance music’s diversity problem by bringing rising electronic stars of all backgrounds, genders and identities together with established artists who don’t just succeed in the industry, but actively lead its evolution.

One of Nomi’s closest friends – Martine Gutierrez received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. The Brooklyn based performance artist draws from eclectic media, acting as subject, artist, and muse, documenting her personal transformation into various imagined roles.

Through the transformation of physical space and composed self, Gutierrez investigates identity – both personal and collective. Interested in the fluidity of relationships and the role of genders within them, she employs mannequins as her counterparts to explore the diverse narratives of intimacy.  Life size backdrops and props interchange with physical locations in a dialogue about reality. Integral to her work is the active participation of the viewer.

“Society perpetuates rigid constructs—fabricated dichotomies like ‘male’ vs ‘female’, ‘gay’ vs ‘straight’, ‘minority’ vs ‘white’, ‘reality’ vs ‘fantasy’, ‘dominate’ vs ‘submissive’, etc.  But our interpretation of these constructs is subjective and not immutable. Reality, like gender, is ambiguous because it exists fluidly.” Acting as a conduit, she supplies a framework—through a gesture, a room, an exchange between characters—that facilitates a dialogue between the viewer and the work, one that requires the viewer to question his or her own perceptions of sex, gender, and social groups.

“I think of each work as a documentation of a transformative performance. I am interested in every facet of what it means to be ‘genuine’, especially when performing in a role society would never cast me in. I stage the scene and emote, but the viewer sees what they want to see; they can actively engage with the work or passively make assumptions. While gender is inherently a theme in my work, I don’t see it as a boundary. The only profound boundaries are those we impose upon ourselves.”

Represented by RYAN LEE, New York—Current and recent exhibitions of her work include Disturbing Innocence, curated by Eric Fischl at the Flag Art Foundation, New York, NY and About Face: Self-Portraiture in Contemporary Art at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, where her work is also included in the permanent collection.

A published musician and producer, Gutierrez’s first unreleased single, Hands Up was selected by Saint Laurent Paris for their Cruise Collection 2012 video editorial. Her music has since been featured by several other fashion houses, including Christian Dior and Acne Studios.

Kamera Addikt is a fashion photography duo based New York city – Misha Bandaletov and Nik Voronin – both Russians and gay are also the best friends for many years. Inspired by life itself and beauty and nature all around, their  photography is an attempt to define time, human existence, to define death. Capturing a moment and transforming ideas into visual content fascinate them.

“Everybody is driven by sex and death.” As Dr. Freud said.

We express our fears and desires in a try to communicate with people via images, to relate to their emotions. Music, of course, inspires us a lot. We listen to music a lot and always look for a new and fresh sound. We’re as well not forgetting about legends of the industry such as Madonna who influences generations of creative minds or relatively new icons like Lana Del Rey and Jessica 6 with their dark-side poetry.

Living in New York City is constantly inspirational too. We both think it’s the best city in the world, it gives you such energy and endless ambitions. If you ever lived in New York it’ll stay inside of you for good. We try to travel as much as possible to places we’ve never been to and see lifestyles different from ours, we think is the most educational and mind-opening thing”.

Models: Nomi Ruiz.com, Martine GutierrezPhotographer: Kamera Addikt (Misha Bandaletov and Nik Voronin),  MUA: Rachel Lori Ramos Toledo, Hair: Andrew Fitzsimons

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