Today in bizarre: a Japanese artist has been arrested for obscenity after allegedly emailing data that would be used to make 3-D prints of her vagina. Megumi Igarashi works under the name Rokude Nashiko, which translates to something along the lines of “bastard kid,” and a major goal of her work is to make the female body less of a taboo topic. She’s been known to mold all kinds of materials into the shape of genitalia because, according to her, the vagina is hidden away in Japanese society. Keep reading »
I made a special trip to New York last weekend to visit Kara Walker’s A Subtlety at the Domino factory during its last weekend. It was worth it. It was worth the four 90-degree days with no air conditioning in a hostel, it was worth the plane fare despite my general brokeness, and it was worth the syrup that got caked on the hem of my dress. The floor of the factory had flooded a little the night before I went, so the bases of the sugar sculptures had eroded; some of the figures that had already started to break down were melting into pools of syrup that looked like blood, and some of the figures held baskets full of hardened sugar-water.
Beyond the colonial critique that the installation waged, what struck me the most was the way that the viewers had sensationalized the Sugar Baby’s naked body, taking unintentionally macabre smiling selfies in front of her breasts or exposed vagina. And although this artwork has the most to do with the exploitation of black women’s bodies, the feeling that shocked me, as a viewer, into just total heartbreak for this woman was that this is what I feel like every time I get catcalled: a body that’s been unwillingly made into a sideshow, a thing to consume and reduce, vulnerable and exposed. In other words, it was a massively effective work of art.
But you missed it! And I know that you missed it because every single friend I met with during my visit said “Oh yeah! I’ve been meaning to go see it.” But by then it was too late. I’m so sorry, guys. However! There’s another exhibit in New York that I have to exhort you to see to soothe your lady-art cravings… Keep reading »
The image of Nigella Lawson with her then-husband’s hands around her throat is seared into my memory. If you remember, back in 2013, Lawson and businessman/art gallery owner Charles Saatchi were seated in a London restaurant, arguing, when he placed his hands around her neck as if to choke her. A photographer happened to catch the incident, which went on for close to 30 minutes, as Lawson cried. The fact that it was caught on camera was a rare and disturbing reminder of the ubiquity of domestic violence, even among the wealthy and powerful.
So what are we to think then, exactly, when several artists have created artwork depicting Nigella Lawson being strangled and posted it on Saatchi’s web site? Keep reading »
Yoko Ono’s breasts, a model’s ass, and a vagina are front in center at an art show in Paris. It would be just another day in the art world if the person behind it wasn’t one of hip hop’s greatest assets. Which begs the question: Does Pharrell Williams have a woman problem?
The Oscar-nominated musician was recently tapped to curate a modern art show at Galerie Perrotin in Le Marais section of the City of Lights. I was rather excited to check it out on the recommendation of a friend. The show is called “G I R L,” taking its name from Pharrell’s recent album. The themes, according to press coverage in the art world, are a celebration of femininity and of women.
The exhibit featured 37 artists — 18 of them women, including Tracey Emin, Cindy Sherman, Sophie Calle. Marina Abramovic, and pieces by the Guerrilla Girls critical of women’s exclusion from the upper echelons of the art world. Yet upon entering the gallery featuring more than three dozen pieces of art curated by Williams, I felt safely uncomfortable, if that makes sense. Keep reading »
American exchange students have a long, proud history of embarrassing our country while abroad. This chucklehead is no exception. An unidentified young man visiting Tubingen University in southwest Germany wedged himself inside a vagina sculpture called “Making Love” and couldn’t get out. He had to be rescued by five emergency vehicles and 22 firefighters, but not before a friend snapped pictures and posted them on Imgur. ”the fire department was not really amused and he was really embarrassed,” wrote the friend on Imgur. “But now happy that he is 1st on Reddit.” There’s always a silver lining. [Imgur via Daily Mail UK]
The awesome ladies behind the non-profit Hollaback have turned to art as a method of fighting back against street harassment. Hollaback NYC held a “Girl Power” art workshop in a Brooklyn park recently which encouraged its tween and teen participants to create visible street art that spoke out against the catcalls and harassment many women face every day.
Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, known for her amazing anti-harassment public art project called “Stop Telling Women To Smile,” was on hand to encourage the girls to write their thoughts about catcalling using a Brooklyn wall as a canvas. Fazlalizadeh’s posters included phrases like “You Are Not Entitled To My Space” and “Women Do Not Owe You Their Time or Conversation” alongside female faces with bold, defiant expressions. The work is the result of interviews with women about their personal experiences with catcalling. Keep reading »