Jennifer Mehigan

14 Feb 2017

During the summer I clicked a thumbnail on the 'Instagram Discover' feed and landed on Jennifer Mehigans's profile. She was in the middle of a project called 'Hard Girls' and her whole feed was dominated by this grossly seductive ''hard-looking cute stuff'': Holographic weapons, pink barbed wire, computer gamey muscle girls. It was one of those unreal moments with art where you see something that feels more like you than you do. 

And she was in IRELAND! Born in London, trained in Singapore and living in The Burren of all fucking places - producing the coolest shit I'd ever seen. Obviously I messaged her straight away and asked her to meet me on the roof of a car park in Galway. So we sat in a rented pink Nissan Silvia and chatted shit about cars, celebrities, fetishes and the internet.

We hear the car coming up the ramps. It has that obnoxious sexy hum. We had both presumed this ridiculous vehicle belonged to a girl but we ask each other if it might actually be a lad driving. It is. He rips it round us and pulls down the window, there are actually two lads in the car. I think he brought support in case we plan to 'Thelma & Louise' it off the roof or something. He hates the car - his mates sprayed it pink as a prank and he’s been trying to sell it for 7 years. 

He asks if he can ‘'do something with the back if we’re gonna be taking pictures’' and we’re not really listening but say yeah of course (we hear these bangs and thuds throughout the conversation and by the end every one of the car's body mod's has blown off in the wind).  We get in and the radio doesn’t work so I play Blonde off my phone and we spend a couple of minutes chatting about the album. Her favourite song is Ivy, mine keeps changing. She hates the mom giving advice interlude, I love it. I like Nikes, she never was mad about it - but we both love the video. I start recording around where Frank sings ''I thought that I was dreaming when you said you love me''. 

It does feel like we should be allowed to start it and just like go..''The road is our home''. Can you drive? 

I can steer, like a golf cart. I haven’t learned manual, it’s too hard. I had my first manual lesson like 3 weeks ago and I was like ‘’Thanks for the lesson! I’m never coming back!’’ - it’s too hard.

So apart from the fact that I obviously LOVE this car, why do I feel like this is you?

I love it too - it’s super queer. Nail polish, makeup and car paint are the same thing, literally the same pigments. The shops where I bought car paint and glitter..I also went to MAC and bought the pigment powder and it’s the same. So everybody is putting this shit on their face..
But my brother was very into cars and like everything he was obsessed with I was just like ''same?''. So he's like ''What colour should I paint my car?'' and I'm like ''OMG - Here's four different types of green metallic!''. But I don't really give a shit about cars, it's just the feeling and the finishes. It's very..leather bar..I find it all very sensual.

Yeah you made that video with the Lamborghinis and Mustangs?

Yeah, I just love that like rich people have so much more ability to do cool stuff with their cars. Like holographic wraps - yes. It's hypnotic. It used to just be like stickers before, but they've found a way to get the powder to look like chrome now - on your nails and on your car. 'Cause you could just peel the shit off a car before.

So 'Hard Girls' is obviously the thing that I saw first and was like ''Oh My God - THIS''. Is that always the theme, or was that a very specific show?

Yeah, I'm really surprised that you liked that, I thought it was kind of a lame show. For me, it was one of my weakest. But yeah, that's always the theme, or it was kind of leading up to that. I'd done 'Cesspool' earlier in the year and I realised I'd rather just talk about sex and girls, than like boring ''stuff''. But it was really misinterpreted. They tried to put this like feminist ‘'It's about like reclaiming your power!’'. No - ew - it's about like fucking and wrestling and aggression. Please don't project onto me! I wanna make stuff that makes people feel good because I feel good looking at it - like a Rihanna outfit - I wanna be like on that level, not like, in a museum. 

''I wanna make stuff that makes people feel good cause I feel good looking at it - like a Rihanna outfit - I wanna be like on that level, not like, in a museum.''

Okay so what celebrity or like - *I dont get to finish the question before she answers*

- Nicki Minaj, that's the goal. Like when she released that first video off The Pinkprint - 'Pills and Potions'. And they literally lifted one of my 3D materials to use as one of their 3D materials; And I was like ''I made that on my computer!''.  So I was like ''Clearly I'm on your moodboard''. Yeah it was kind of lame actually..but it was cool, I obnoxiously tweeted her. I think it's sort of inevitable with the internet. You can see in so many videos where so many artists have been scammed. And they never do it well. If they had just worked with the artist directly it'd be like ''That was a great video!''.

So Nicki Minaj calls you up and she's like ‘'Yo, Jenny'’ - What's the project? In your dream..

Just like a typical 90’s, porno-y video. But with like set design and all that.

Do you get bored of visual influence in your own work? Will you be like ''I'm not gonna do porno-y stuff anymore''?

Yeah, making an animation you have to wait for it to render for like 12 it's boring. 

But then I actually do like to beat dead horse too and do the same thing 12 times.  

So what are you on now?

I'm moving towards videos with like fetishy, gimp kinda costumes. I dunno where it's deforming the body? But also just making paintings. 

Can you feel do you know what's gonna come next after you get sick of the gimps?

Yeah I kinda know, witchcraft-y stuff is coming up. I just have like pictures saved to my phone and I'm like ''I know exactly what this is gonna be'', but I really can't talk about it. But yeah I can feel what I'm gonna do for the next year, two years.

Where do you find it, instagram?

Yeah I watch a lot of nail videos, makeup videos. That's mostly where I steal my colours schemes from. Strippers; outfits that celebrities wear, Nicki Minaj stuff - yeah it's just one circle of the same stuff.

So that's the cute stuff - where does the aggressive stuff come from?

I think that's just my personality eating that stuff. I was a boxer when I was a teenager, so there's always been like, a desire to beat the shit out of something. The first porn that I liked was like a video of women wrestling and I was like ''ahhh, now I understand''. But I like those fetishes people have where they just like do nothing, have you seen that?

''Nothing fetish''? That's so

No it's not like ''I have a fetish for sitting in my house''. No, like they get into latex stuff and then they just go for a swim or something. And like, people who have a fetish for like, the air that goes up under your shorts when you go into the pool. So they go into the pool and they let it blow up and they're like ''This is amazing''. And people who like..what's it called, sink sand? Quicksand! The whole thing is just like, you going into quicksand.

Hahahaha, life would so easy. That's unreal. But I don't think I'd get hard off it.

I don't even think they get hard, or like turned on by it. I think it's just like.. a feeling of completion.

What would you say are the things - apart from nails! - that are kinda your signatures?

I dunno..emm, pink? But I'm trying to move away from pink..let me look up my work.

Yeah like pink spikes..hard looking cute stuff. Pink thorns, pink things. Let me think of a better answer…no that's it. 

''Let me look up my work. Yeah like pink..spikes. Hard looking cute stuff. Pink thorns, pink things. Let me think of a better answer…no that's it.''

What are your weird kind of paths you go down on the internet?

I guess video uploading websites. Or even just like porn, but the stuff that people upload half the time isn't even porn really. Most of the videos are very fetishy though. So I guess it's just looking down video-holes of people's fetish stuff. 

I like the grungy, like they uploaded it only to like 480x640 and you're like ''This is the worst footage I've ever seen''. Like VHS uploaded to the internet in 1991 and they never uploaded better quality. 

I would have said that your work is very 'digital'?

Yeah but I use very basic programmes so there's only so far I can go. I can't do the hyper-real stuff. But I think it kinda suits, it's like a little bit grungy. 

Do you like other artists that look like your work?

I do. It's really vain. I'm like ''same aesthetic, best friends :)''.  I really like Pussy Crew do you know them?

No but like, is it me?

They're this couple from Poland who make music videos that are all like 3D golden metallic. 

Have you not seen so much of that stuff now though?

Yeah this whole like..using stock objects of stuff. I prefer people who are building things that can't be real, or that are kind of gross. It's cute, but stuff that looks like real life kinda bores me. 

I think all 3D stuff is just like, building your objects of desire essentially. I had a really cool computer game when I was a kid, that was like interior design programme. And you just like, choose where the bookshelves and plants go. And my school powerpoints would be way over the top and I'd be like ''Oh it won't load cause I put in 10 million flash animations''

So you came from Singapore to Ireland last year? We're you like ''Fuck..''?

I knew coming here it would be ''ehh'' art-wise, it would be boring. I just moved back cause I had nowhere else to go. I wanted to go to Rotterdam but I didn't have the money. So I was just ''Okay, I'll live with my Mom in Clonakilty..''

It's so funny that you live in the countryside and it's like, the most opposite world to what you're making. 

I like living in the countryside and not having like, a scene to deal with. I feel like there's a lot of things that happen when people are all doing the same thing in the same city - which is nice, to build a community and all be part of something. But it's also're all just kind of a big circle jerk. 

I kind of like to not be included in stuff. And then be like ''aaghhh!''. That fuels me. 

''I kind of like to not be included in stuff. And then be like ''aaghhh!''. That fuels me.''

*I forget to ask a follow up question right and we just listen to the intro of Futura Free instead*

If I was being honest
I'd say long as I could fuck three times a day and not skip a meal I'm good
I used to work on my feet for 7 dollars a hour
Call my momma like momma
I ain't making minimum wage momma
I'm on momma
I'm on
Now I'm making 400, 600, 800K momma
To stand on my feet momma
Play these songs, it's therapy momma
They paying me momma
I should be paying them
I should be paying y'all honest to God

Oh yeah, what artists do you like?

Did you go to the NCAD show? Did you see Elaine Hoey's work? I think she became my new favourite artist right away. I really love her. Juliana Huxtable, Jesse Darling, Jennifer Monk - she does like wrestling/boxing/intense-hard female videos.

Do you like any boys?

I try to avoid talking about them cause they get so much press!

You can just say 'Yes'.

I actually usually end up preferring men's work so I have like an internal conflict..

The boot just blew open.

This is the worst car don't buy it.