Playboy Germany selected Marisa as one of the 50 artists to art direct a cover for their 50th anniversary issue (July 2022).
For the last year our projects have been exploring and exposing the meaning of the vagina in our media and culture. We felt this collaboration would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate her and to evoke curiosity and change from within. In our view the audience of male magazines would greatly benefit from a more authentic understanding of women and femininity.
So after the invitation, we promptly replied with a proposal to exhibit our ‘Flower of Life’ image. We received an ecstatic answer but Playboy’s lawyers advised against it, since a vagina can not be publicly displayed on news stands. We then countered with a concept that would graciously mock censorship: What if we would cover Marisa’s flower with tiny flowers? Playboy said yes.
We gathered the tiniest flowers, arranged them by size and color, organized our tools and then Marisa laid herself with her legs opened towards the sun for Michael to dress them onto her vagina. We attempted this scenario a few evenings in a row but the result did not live up to our vision. The smallest flowers were still too big and the bouquet would fall apart before completion.
Our determination guided us towards Nejc Polovsak (twistedpoly), a digital artist who’s work elegantly builds worlds of abstraction with delicate textures and colors. Working together over the course of a week, we finally arrived at a visual expression that matched our imagination. Nejc rendered our original image and adhered 30,000+ flowers in different stages of blooming.
‘If only I would be a flower’ is the first vagina in history on the cover of Playboy!
It is a celebration of nature yet it is a longing to be celebrated for the beauty we naturally inhibit. It is a play with the edges of censorship and an anticipation for the freedom that is awaiting us.
if only I would be a flower
I would not be separate
I would be amid
I would be from
I would be in
the kinetic grass would sway against my form
and intuitively I would move as well
we would move together to the rhythm of the loving mysterious heartbeat of life
I would greet everything with the beauty I have forever absorbed to nourish others
I would open for the light of heavens to seep through me
because to participate in opening is to touch the greatest grace
today, I am nature embodied abloom
tomorrow, I will be a flower
today, I grace you with the love I have basked in during many lifetimes
tomorrow, I will talk to you about the cycles of life
today, I remember the freedom of my sovereign body
tomorrow, my petals will taste the sweetness of giving clouds
today, my roots stretch and belong to the deep wise earth
tomorrow, I will open
today, I live and grow among nature
tomorrow, my beauty will belong too