Sunday, January 11, 2015

Today's assignment...Who's your favorite female artist?

So, I've never made time for art. I've always been drawn to it, and effected by it, but not done much with it. For this post, I meandered downstairs to my bookshelf to try and find that art book I know I have somewhere, and stumbled across the painting in my front room. I absolutely love this painting, but alas, it turns out to be a male artist...'Divinely Fair' by Schafer, to be specific. I've always loved this kind of art. To me, it shows true beauty, elegance and grace. Things I've always strived to be, and admittedly have fallen short of. (I'm quiet clumsy really).

So off to Google I went to find an inspirational "favorite" female artist. With any good fortune, I would stumble across someone that paints pretty cherry blossoms or something surreal like that. 

This proved surprisingly difficult. Search results? Female vocalists. Hmm...interesting. 

After some time I came across a picture that caused me to stop and study. It is the picture of two women. One sitting, curled into herself and the other...standing openly confident. 

So I clicked the link. OH MY! This artist is provocative! I don't like this art at all!  But then I found a picture of a woman in heels covered in muddy water. It made me think. And curious. So I decided that I would read the story behind the picture. That's what art is supposed to do, right?  

It did. The artist is Marilyn Minter and turns out she's quite controversial. Her early work portrays unseemly photos of women on the cusp on pornography. As I read on, this work was derived from a sexually abusive past. Her more recent works shows how high fashion glamour has been put upon women today. I read this as the impossible standard that society has created for young girls and women alike. 

Which brings me back to the artwork in my front room, Schafer's piece. How are these photos so seemingly different, and yet so similar? Here's my take on it...

'Divinely Fair' shows what women of the time were meant to be. Proper, elegant, silent..,but a closer look shows a loneliness about her. Perhaps even a sadness. The photo of the muddy shoes speaks to me as a woman's effort to be glamorous...only to find herself anything but. 

I feel passionate about the pressures young girls and women face about being sexually exploited and expected to be beautiful as defined by high-fashion glamour magazines. After all, nobody really looks like that. 

Please excuse grammar and text errors...I didn't want to muddle my creative flow with proofing the piece.