Female Gaze (Explicit)
In April 2018 I attended the show "Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism"
What struck me the most in seeing these works was the connection between the women, artist and subject, it was one of shared experience, compassion, and respect.
This connection when viewing most artwork where women are the subjects, had been missing in the majority of my art experience, because as Hanna Gadsby, Comedian and Art Historian puts it "High art my ass, the history of high art is... Men painting flesh vases for their dick flowers."
In researching women artists using male imagery I found a quote from Ron Warren, curator at the Mary Boon Gallery, Ron said that while male artists still find it easier to sell explicit work it’s considered “much more aggressive for females to use sexual imagery..."
So its more acceptable for women to be sexual imagery, we can be the object on view and for consumption, but not use sexual imagery, become the possessor of said imagery.
The depth of creative inequality in his statement first maddened, then inspired me to not only find the women artists using male sexual imagery but to use my own female gaze as creative motivation.
Judy Chicago writes
"The problem is that masculine imagery (the male gaze) is more prevalent than feminine, which means women are subjected to the brutalities of the male psyche while men are not subjected to the counterpart.... the human psyche is not politically correct. It is full of unpleasant feelings because we’re all brought up in a patriarchal, sexist, misogynist society. And when one begins to make art and plumb one’s psyche, all sorts of things come out."
Artist Eunice Golden, addressed, as she put it, the “PHALLACY” of male power, pointing out its vulnerability to and dependence on a female audience.
Ive addressed this phallacy by using flaccid penises applied to brightly colored home decor, items found in the historic genre of womenly arts and interior domestic spaces, thereby closing the distance gap between the vulnerability of the patriarchys anatomical representative and its dependence on women to sustain itself. As artist Mimi Chun said about a piece of her work “ this somehow felt like a poetic response....a playful FU" to that persistent patriarchal message that has infiltrated who we all are.
Domestic pieces for sale here