Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and festive season! (It’s already Christmas here in New Zealand! The sun is shining and it is super quiet and peaceful)
This is my ‘Virgin of Guadalupe’ artwork which seemed more than appropriate for this time of year.
Thanks for all your support. Stay cool, artful and open.
Like Petra Collins, Maggie Dunlap is another young Sagittarius whose work focuses on the exploration of girlhood with amazing results. Dunlap’s work is bold, true and sometimes dark – she does have an illustrated alphabet of serial killers after all. She is a huge Marilyn Manson fan and brings her love of horror and gore into some of her pieces while others are boldly feminist and unapologetic. She’s one of those artists that makes art out of just about anything and someone I recommend getting to know, if only on the internet. Karley Sciortino interviews her here for Slutever which is well worth reading. For me, I felt a lot of Dunlap’s answers were my inner thoughts.
Here is some of Maggie Dunlap‘s work I enjoyed, but you will find more on the web if you dare.
The visual EP, M3LL155X, is a self-directed project form FKA twigs. I watched it today and really, really enjoyed it. I would recommend taking the time to clear you mind and really watch it. If anything, it gets better as it goes on. So sit back and immerse yourself in the work of an inspiring woman and a true creative.
If you want some more written content on the project, you check out this article at Dazed.
Sorry I have been absent lately. Life takes over. But I’m back now x
Valie Export’s photograph Action Pants: Genital Panic shows her sitting with genitals exposed while pointing a gun at the viewer. Export’s work draws attention to the ideas of phallic power and whether it truly comes from biology or can be attained otherwise. Export showcases her lack of penis by exposing her own vagina but reclaims the gun as her phallic object and power. It was rumoured that this photograph came after a live performance, where Export walked around people seated in a theatre, her vagina at their eye-level, and pointed a gun at them while offering sex until the theatre was empty. This imagery reminds me of the film Magic, Magic where, post-hypnotism, the female protagonist walks into the room of a man who has been sexually harassing her (verbally) and rubs her naked vagina in his face, all while being asleep. The woman has no recollection of events the next day and appears mortified when the man confronts her about it. This scene acts to remind us that such overt sexuality is not ‘acceptable’ in a woman with both male anger and female humiliation driving this. Export’s photograph works in the opposite way, purposefully pairing femininity with macho aggression (common in a lot of her work) to blur set gender boundaries.
Performance artist and photographer, Claire Doyle, recently paid homage to Export’s work in her performance piece Habitual Body Monitoring: The Costume. Doyle draws attention to female body hair through her performance which you can watch above. The acceptance and freedom of female body hair has been gaining support in recent years with other artists like Petra Collins and Rhiannon Scnhiederman springing to mind.
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“You can’t let your curiosity die”
As The Visual Female developed I began including videos under the Move Monday section to embrace the moving image as well as the still. While those clips are highly driven by the visual – largely music videos – today I have something different (and amazing) to share. Wonder is a short documentary about last months Visual Female, Gina Martynova, directed by Jesse Brass as part of his ‘Making Art’ series.
Wonder is put together really well, allowing viewers to form a connection with Gina and gain more understanding of what she (and Starry) believe in. For Gina it is all about curiosity, the beauty in the fact that there is always more to discover in this world. You’ll have to watch to learn about Starry, but she seems pretty cool too. Wonder shows us Gina in her work and living space as well as beautiful close-ups of her art, something you can’t experience by simply seeing her work on the internet. This tasteful documentary is definitely worth a watch. And the best bit, Jesse has already made a bunch of films about other artists, some of which I am going to get stuck into now – the pink hues of Jen Mann are calling me in. So make a cup of tea (even if it’s hot outside) and relax while you get to know a few of the many amazing artists in the world bringing us joy through beauty.