A multi-talented woman, Melissa Auf der Maur, born in March 1972, is a Canadian photographer cum musician, singer, song writer and an actress as well. Melissa is the daughter of a politician and journalist, Nick Auf der Maur and Linda Gaboriau, a literary translator. Her surname means, ‘on the wall’. She speaks English and French.
Talking about her photographic side, she specialized in self-portraiture from Concordia University, in 1994 when she was requested to join Hole, an alternative rock band from America.
Her photos have been featured in Mastermind, American Photo, Nylon, Bust and other magazines. She did a group exhibition, The Kids are Alright, with Yelena Yemchuk at Sotheby’s, New York. In September 2001, Melissa Auf der Maur did a solo exhibition, Channels, at Brooklyn’s Secret Gallery, which displayed pictures of the artist’s life on road with repeated theme of Television screens. However, after the 9/11 attacks, the show was closed and the plan to make a book by the exhibition’s name was canceled.
In 2000, she left Hole and joined The Smashing Pumpkins. Later, she embarked on a solo career. In 2004, she released Auf der Maur, her debut album. After six years, she released another album, Out of Our Minds.
On her tour to different parts of the world to do music concerts, Melissa took photographs of the singers and the audience. She photographed Courtney Love on stage and her fans in Courtney Love in Crowd on Stage in USA, 1999; Fans on Stage in Hole’s show in Sweden, 1999; Eric on Stage, Beautiful Monsters Tour in USA; View of Crowd from the Bass Player’s Position, this photo is of the crowd, a series of shots Melissa took from 1994 to 2004 and this picture was also used in 2002’s Tokyo exhibition.
One of her self portrait pictures is very creative, Self-Portrait in TV – she is on a bed in a hotel room and she took the photograph of her reflection on the television screen. Other portraits of herself during music concerts is, On Stage with Bass, South Africa. In this she took her photo on Stage, with camera’s timer sitting on Bass amp in Cape Town. In this show she didn’t perform so she had the chance to move around freely and set her camera for any desired composition. She included this image in an exhibit at Sotheby’s in 2003.
“James jumping, Italy”, James is a guitar player in The Smashing Pumpkins and a close friend of Melissa Auf Der Maur and on a world tour for the album Machina: The Machines of God, she shot this scene with a panoramic camera. Due to a problem in the camera, the negatives use to rip off, hence James is without a head but Melissa liked this since it makes the musician seem he’s jumping out from the frame.
Another photo by her during a tour was Canada Summer Stadium Show. The photograph is of Courtney Love performing in front of the Canadian crowd on a song Northern Star in Edmonton.
Auf der Maur is a debut album by Melissa Auf der Maur, a Canadian alternative rock artiste. It released in February 2004. For the promotion of this album she took portraits of herself with various compositions and postures.
Melissa created a little booklet titled, A world of her own, with self portraits modeling in her favorite designer outfits for her preferred fashion designers, in 1998.