Natasha Gornik is one of those kinda-familiar names at WHACK! HQ. She’s photographed and worked with our most fabulous favorites, the Domi Dollz, and was featured on their site as the Domi Doll of the Month this March. We feel like we’ve run into her at some events here and there around NYC, but when you’re as drunk as we are at most of those events, you can never be sure.
So when we heard this foxy and (in?)famous fetish photographer was exhibiting her work at the low-down LES dive Arlene’s Grocery this month, and there was booze at the opening, we thought: “Hey, a good opportunity to take in some fine fetish art AND show up sober enough to be sure we know who she is!”
We weren’t sorry. Natasha has worked as a photographer for years, largely photographing kink and fetish scenes because, as she told me at opening, she’d tried domming in the kink lifestyle but found she wasn’t really cut out for it, but neither was she into being a pro sub. She said she got off on watching, and as a photographer, she gets to watch all she wants, from both sides of the equation. When I asked her if she considered her work fetish photography—as that’s what most of the pieces on display (and for sale, by the way) at Arlene’s seemed like to me, she said, “I made my first portrait of a dominatrix thirteen years ago. It was in Chicago at a small dungeon that I worked for every so often. I wasn’t very good with the camera back then, so the pictures weren’t exactly successful, but the experience was. That’s what I do, photograph my experiences, and that can be anything from a meal I’m about to eat to the way the light hits a temple wall in India to a dominatrix in latex stockings handing her submissive his beaten ass. so it’s more I have a fetish for experience… so yeah I guess I do make fetish photography. And I do love the kink culture, it plays a large role in my life.”
The photos range from an impassive shot of a tattooed back (“I shoot the people I sleep with,” she said) to an action shot of a fantasy boxing match between a domme and her sub (“He made the shorts himself!”) to the one featured on the event’s postcard and at the top of the page here (“That one was a fun shoot… The people on the subway were really nice and were moving out of the way so I could get a better shot, and when we went to Times Square the tourists were like a wall of cell phone cameras.”), but focus heavily on kink and fetish scenes, to which Natasha is regularly invited. She might just be interested in shooting your next domme session if you’d like to preserve the moment for posterity. You can reach Natasha directly for inquiries or purchases at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out her work on her at natashagornik.com or at her kinkier site nastybydesign.com. She is a contributing blogger for Darling House, a Tweeter, a Facebooker, and a pretty fucking excellent photographer, too. Stop by Arlene’s this month if you’re around the area to see for yourself!