Upon first glance, you might mistake this sculpture for a naked man trying to foist unwanted physical contact upon an unsuspecting woman. It could be a trigger for anyone who has experienced sexual assault, but it’s art. The realistic statue, entitled Sleepwalker, is part of an exhibit featuring sculptor Tony Matelli at Wellesley College’s Davis Museum. And since it’s February 3rd installation, it’s been creeping the students at the all-woman’s college the hell out. One of the college’s students, Zoe Magid, even started a Change.org petition to get the Sleepwalker removed from the campus center. Lauren Walsh, the student who penned the petition writes:
“[T]his highly lifelike sculpture has, within just a few hours of its outdoor installation, become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community. While it may appear humorous, or thought-provoking to some, it has already become a source of undue stress for many Wellesley College students, the majority of whom live, study, and work in this space.”
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Who needs a guestbook when you have artistic portraits of all your wedding guests? That’s what film director Suzi Yoonessi and her fiancé Spencer Crossland were wondering as they planned their wedding at the famously colorful Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, where every room is a unique experience. As an unusual gift to their guests, they arranged for photographer Jonathan Grassi to take fine art portraits of everyone in their rooms. Some guests even brought costumes to go with the themes of their rooms. The resulting album, entitled “The Madonna Inn” is a refreshing way to celebrate the guests as much as the bride and groom, and more importantly, it ensured that everyone left with a wedding favor they would truly never forget. No embossed matchbooks for these guests, high art only.
Click through to a few of the arresting images from Yoonessi and Crossland’s January nuptials. Starting with this portrait of the bride and groom all cuddled up in the Carin Room. [Jonathan Grassi] [Photos: Jonathan Grassi]
(Trigger Warning: Discussion of incest and childhood sexual abuse.)
The greatest gift my father gave me was a passion for art. As a pianist and composer with a Master’s degree in Musicology, he infused our home with creativity throughout my childhood. He encouraged me to find my own outlet; instead of sports teams and debate club, my extracurricular activities included violin lessons, piano lessons, drawing classes, painting classes, dance classes, theater camp, and color guard practice. You name it, I tried it.
The day we discovered my true passion was the day my father brought home a video camera. As I started to experiment with filmmaking as a medium of expression, he shared with me his advice about being an artist: “Never compromise your artistic vision for mainstream success.” “Art should never be restricted to those who can afford museum admission or concert tickets – create art that can be accessible to the public.” “Look for the art around you in every day life and draw inspiration from it.” “Let art drive everything else in your life.”
My memory of my childhood is hazy, so I can’t remember if our talks about art started before or after my father molested me. It happened so casually, so blatantly, that I assumed it was normal, loving behavior. Given the way he would constantly praise my appearance, talk openly and explicitly about sex, and encourage me to feel comfortable walking around naked in front of him, I did not realize that what happened to me was abuse until I was an adult. Today, we no longer have a relationship. I have nightmares about hearing his voice when I pick up the phone. Looking at photographs of him makes my stomach churn. But as I write this, I am listening to one of his recordings over and over again, straining to hear the words I know he will never say. Keep reading »
My mom is an artist — a painter, specifically, though she works with other mediums — and a talented one at that, so whenever I encounter a news story about some artist who is doing seemingly “controversial” or weird conceptual art that I, frankly, think is pretentious bullshit, I like to check in with her for her opinion. Which is what I did this morning, when I saw this article in the Daily Mail about an artist named Millie Brown, who swallows colorfully dyed soy milk and then vomits it onto canvas. You may recognize Brown from her appearance in a Lady Gaga music video, in which she vomits all over the singer’s dress. EDGY! But what does it all mean?
“It’s very much about timing, I find the whole process fascinating and the long meditative fast can be very inspiring. I often set out with an idea of what I’d like to create but I enjoy the uncontrollable element of my work and just go with it. … I feel my work is an expression of raw human nature, that pushes boundaries mentally and physically to create work that has true beauty.”
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Any “Girls” fan worth her battery-operated boyfriend knows that Jemima Kirke, who plays Jessa, is first-and-foremost an artist. In this new short film presented by the Tate galleries and Le Méridien hotels, Jemima takes us back through Western civilization’s long history of ignoring female artists. (Obviously such a conversation could not exist without the feminist activist group The Guerrilla Girls, who are front and center in the short film!) “There were always women who were artists, but men who wrote the history books,” says Jemima. “And somehow, they forgot to mention them.” I do recommend you watch — it’s a must see for any feminist or art history buff. [Unlock Art]
God bless the Swedes and their sensible, sex positive outlook! A middle school principal in Nykoping, Sweden has thrown his support behind a mural inside the school depicting a modern art-style vagina.
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