Max Moinian started the film photography project For Your Guest Bathroom to cure the flood of kitschy "art" we all know too well from Pinterest and cafés. She has seen more than enough decorated walls, with frames reading "Live, Laugh, Love." She noticed the lack by how underwhelmed she was with everyday places. There is a lack of good, affordable art. While her Instagram feed was full of amazing photography, these works hardly ever go full-circle back to a physical print, let alone onto people's walls. For Your Guest Bathroom is here to change that.
Hi Max, welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Please introduce yourself a real quick to our readers.
Hi! I'm Max. I'm from New York, and I have a boy's name but I am a lady.
Please tell us about the concept of For Your Guest Bathroom and what sparked the idea for you.
FYGB is an online shop of affordable framed photography. Everyone keeps calling it a gallery. It's not a gallery! It's a store. A place for you to buy art for your walls without anxiety or investment. And a platform for the photographers and creatives I know to get their archives off screens and hard drives... and into the real world. I started the company with my own 35mm photos. I've never taken myself seriously as a photographer but I knew that my stuff was at least better than what I was seeing everywhere. From cafés to hotels, offices, locker rooms. The worst art is always in AirBnB's. The first thing I do is hide everything in the closet.
How would you describe your typical customer?
The kind of person who would rather leave their walls empty than hang something half decent. Or who has been meaning to go to the framer for six months. Who is living on the go and not trying to spend on a rental apartment with three roommates. Sounds like me and everyone I know!
In case someone recognized themselves in your description. Let's break it down for them: How does it work?
Let's do this! We're also here to help you curate so send us photos of your empty walls and we can take it from there.
First, you choose a photo. You can browse by photographer, location, vibe, color.
Next, do the finishing touches. Pick a size (S,M,L) and frame style (White, Black, Chrome). We kept these options as classic and minimal as possible because we know choosing the art is hard enough.
Then, you wait one week while your piece is handmade and delivered to your door, ready to hang. Everything is made-to-order with our local partners in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. So if you're in NY or LA, we also hand deliver for free. I love when people ask me if FYGB photographs are signed and numbered. My ethos is editions of infinity — you order, we print. That's beauty of photography to me and the reason why I can sell framed prints under $300.
How do you pick the photographers you're including in this project?
I started with my friends. The ones whose Instagram posts I'm always taking screenshots of. Or the ones who have promised me prints for years now. We have five right now, and I call them Our Guests. We're in it together, putting our stuff out there...thinking it was precious only to us. It's exciting. Right now, I'm working on a few amazing people who came to me, and mixing up the mediums.
Why is it important for you to exclusively work with film photographs for this project?
Besides being my medium of choice, I've had an eye on how the resurgence of film photography and social media interplay. FYGB has this funny way of being analogue yet digital. How often do you never see a physical print of a film photograph in real life? We take photos on film cameras, process the negatives to digital files, and store them on our computers, or on the cloud. Maybe we share them through screens and post them on Instagram. But it shouldn't stop there. I love the idea of turning something very physical back to physical form that you experience in real life.
Go ahead and browse through For Your Guest Bathroom to find the perfect affordable piece of art for your own walls. And check out their pop-ups at American Two Shot in New York or Alfred Coffee Silverlake in L.A.