Low Self-Esteem: Self-Portraits by Katie West

Oh no she dint! Oh yes she did! Go, Katie, go!

Sensual, challenging, awkward and sublime in turns, Katie West‘s self portraits readily draw comparisons to folks like Cindy Sherman and Aaron Hawks, although I personally find her output more endearing. She is vulnerable and toothsome, and an unrepentant goofball. It’s been such a joy to watch her vision deepen and ripen over the years. Fellow brave, wee wonkettes of the world, you’ve found your muse. Buy her book.

“The Dancer’s Fall” by Katie West.

18 Responses to “Low Self-Esteem: Self-Portraits by Katie West”

  1. Zoetica Says:

    Always a Katie fan, I am. BUY BUY BUY!

  2. a naan mouse Says:

    Hot! But, holy fuck, please put that behind a NSFW tag somehow next time! Some corporate filters haven’t yet realized what a great site this is (and here’s hoping they never will)

  3. Nadya Says:

    Aww… I think that’s the first time anyone’s requested we put things behind a NSFW tag on Coilhouse. First time for everything!

    We’ll make an effort not to post racy things before the jump during work hours, but sometimes, a piece is too good not to post, or we may forget. I definitely don’t want anyone to get fired because they look at our site (I mean shit! I look at this site at work and I’m always nervous), and I also don’t want people to unsubscribe to our RSS because there’s nudity. But… I also want to be able to post the right picture before a jump – and sometimes the right picture happens to have some boobies. So I’m trying to figure out a good compromise. If it’s an issue for a lot of people.

    So I turn to the Coilhouse readers. Has the nudity on the blog been an issue for a lot of people? Can anyone suggest any solutions? Post any ideas or experiences here.

    If I had to suggest something, I really recommend this thing:


    Those things are total stealth cloaks for your monitor. You can usually find one on Ebay. I have one and and it’s great for when I want to read blogs at work during my lunch hour but I don’t want anyone to see what I’m reading. It’s so worth it.

  4. Jon Munger Says:

    Man, Katie’s taking off like a rocket. It seems like only yesterday I was trying to get Mer and Katie into a horrible competition, only to have them turn on me with plastic clown things.

    I still remember those clown things.

    I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

  5. cappy Says:

    Yes, the nudity has been an issue for me…

    ..I like it, and please do not stop. I absolutely love seeing the nude human form being used for something other than porn — please do not start censoring yourself or hiding everything behind “NSFW” screens.

  6. Nemo Bion Says:

    I second Cappy’s motion for non-censorship.
    If an image with nudity must be on the front page then, by george, it must be.
    I think we all can agree that whatever gets posted will be one hell of a tasteful image.

  7. adam Says:

    a PIECE of ART! provocative yet sensual

  8. La Môme Néant Says:

    I’m currently at work and was debating reading the article until everyone left the room.
    I guess I’d appreciate a warning!

  9. k paul blume Says:

    re; the (I think) totally inaccurate comparison to Cindy Sherman — number 1, none of West’s images plumb the depths of sheer ugliness
    that Sherman so often sinks to and; number 2, considerably less reliance on props.
    Three, I like Katie West.
    …Cindy Sherman, not so much.

  10. Mark Says:

    Nadia – hahah, I think surreptitiously trying to attach a ‘porno porthole’ to our work monitors might arouse rather more suspicion than we’re looking for… ;D

    I of course have no problem with the odd human/lobster/robot/zombie teat popping out on Coilhouse – in fact, the more the merrier on all counts – and personally I don’t really see the point in NSFW filters. It’s age-old and over-simplistic argument admittedly, but if I know that one of my bookmarked sites occasionally posts NSFW content, then I don’t tend to hit it up at work.

    That said though, it’s not just about ‘OMG NIPPLE! NSFWWWWW!’, is it? The specific definition of NSFW I keep in mind when posting my stuff has always been: ‘If a boss passing nearby could, at a glance, misconstrue it as pr0n, then don’t risk it.’ According to that model, I think the shots here of Katie potentially could lead to bureaucratic hi-jinks…whereas, say, the video of Isabella Rossellini flyhumping from a while back, or the heavily-polished&posed images of topless types clutching squids I recall from Coilhouse’s jurassic period, almost certainly wouldn’t. Dunno if that helps or not, but I find it useful.

    Then again, if I got fired I’d read Coilhouse more, so it’s probably in your interests to have us all clearing our desks out as soon as possible. ;)

  11. Mark Says:

    Oh, and sorry for the off-topic rant. Didn’t realise it had grown to such leviathan proportions.

    Regarding Katie’s stuff here, I don’t really get much from the cover shot, but I love the second image for its fascinating and dizzying angle – it somehow gives me flashbacks to a time I only half remember, being two or three years old and morbidly fascinated by the forbidden mysteries of The Staircase and its attending Locked Gates Of No LOLZ.

    Ironically, given the whole NSFW discussion above, it makes bugger all difference to me whether she’s naked in that shot or not, and in fact I can well imagine loving the image even more if she had on some suitably intriguing outfit. Ho hum.

  12. Nadya Says:

    ‘porno porthole’!!!! Ahahahahah.

    Okay, it works really well if you have a dual-monitor setup. Like if you have one big monitor and you put all your work shit on there, and then use the porno porthole on the laptop… so that it looks like you’e just using the external monitor as the main monitor for your laptop. If you’re not staring at your “blank” laptop monitor all the time, it can be effective… or maybe I’m just fooling myself and everyone at work thinks I look at pr0n all day.

  13. Mer Says:

    Well, jeepers.

    With apologies to the worker bees, may I remind ya’ll that this is by no means the first, or even the umpteenth time CH has posted “edgy” material above a cut? And actually, we have warned readers more than once that CH will occasionally contain NSFW content. That being said, if my wise co-editors wish to put the offending breasts under a cut, it’s their call.

    @ Blume, Just because you dislike Sherman’s work and like West’s doesn’t mean my comparison is “totally inaccurate”, thanks. :)

  14. Katie West Says:

    I am always good for causing a NSFW debate. I am so NSFW, I don’t even work. I can’t! I walk into a place and everyone instantly goes, “Oh noes! NSFW – warning warning! lj-cut lj-cut! EEeeeeee” *head esplodes from too much unsafe*

  15. Nadya Says:

    To be fair, when some people discover a blog, they don’t go through the backlog of posts (I believe I first brought up the NSFW thing in this NSFW post about Franz van Bayros). As a solution, I’ll add a little statement about our NSFW policy to our Mission Statement page to warn first-time visitors.

    We apologize to anyone who has gotten into trouble for looking at our posts at work. I myself am a “worker bee” as Mer put it, and it’s hard for me because sometimes I want to read or post to the blog at work, but I have to be stealthy and of course put work first. Thus, I totally feel your pain.

    A lot of very awesome, cutting-edge, fascinating blogs do warn readers about NSFW content. Maybe we’ll do that one day too, as a courtesy, the day we reach some sort of critical mass. But right now, this blog is still in its infancy and we really just want to enjoy the ride and put forth the pictures that inspire us most.

    We’re putting out a magazine soon, and during production we’ve faced difficult decisions to do with censorship in bookstores (like the danger of Issue 1 being polybagged because there’s a bit of nudity)… at least on the blog, where there are no ads, no Barnes and Noble reviewers breathing down our necks, we want to have a little fun and not think about such things.

    We very much respect all the readers and commenters and thank you guys for letting us know how you feel about NSFW images. We hope you understand where we’re coming from. As mentioned above we won’t go out of our way to make the blog unreadable at work, but we will sometimes post artistic nudity if the post calls for it. We hope you all continue reading, despite the occasional risque image… just be careful! :)

    Thank you guys!

  16. Mer Says:

    The nipples. Let us show you them. Occasionally.

  17. Jan Says:

    Beauty is indeed a work of art.

  18. kissuredbs Says:

    Greetings from Harare. Just this morning passing through the park I was thinking of having some Katie-like shots taken in the midst of ordinary grey people going to work. That was before coming across Katie, and seeing -wow-someone who has similar ideas to me.
    Hey guys, we’ve seen NSFW stuff before, we’re all adults-so lighten up. Katie puts some good stuff up, so lets appreciate it and if someone feels put off then then they can go elsewhere. My favourite two pieces so far are exploding girl and elsewhere. More power to Katie!