Tag » art
  Barbie’s place in adolescence and constructed femininity has baffled psychologists and feminist alike: on one hand, she’s a patient confidante onto which girls might project their hopes and aspirations. But she also espouses limited and damaging views on female roles, bodies, and sexuality. She sends conflicting messages, passively listening to you for hours while remaining inhumanly cold. As girls, we intuitively pick up that Barbie is “grown up” and “sexy,” but she doesn’t have genitals and therefore cannot be understood as a sexual agent. Read More
  We all know that heavily Photoshopped images don’t accurately depict the human form, yet it’s still easy to become lulled into believing that idealized bodies are relatively uniform. Photographic subjects are too often deemed attractive or not, depending on seemingly arbitrary cultural ideologies. We see fine art and the media portray women as familiar hourglasses; men are often pictured with authoritative stances and broad shoulders. Read More
The performance artist Nate Hill is known for his groundbreaking work on race in contemporary culture, examining the idolization of white women as ideals of beauty and femininity. In one recent project, he sold milk gargled by college-educated white women. In another, he donned white face. His new project “Trophy Scarves” might be his most controversial yet. In an attempt to shed light on the way men in power look at race and women, he invites white women over Craigslist to sit for nude photos posed as scarves draped around his neck. Read More
  My grandmother was an artist, and throughout her career, she’d make abstract sculptures and embroidery that I’d stare at for hours as a child: “oh, that looks like a face, and that there? That’s an animal.” Our play was art-making, and I was always amazed at how different her aesthetic would become when she was with me. Her paper dolls weren’t abstract at all; I’d make an abstract shape, and she’d magically transform it into a dragon. Her work around my childhood self was whimsically cartoonish, otherworldly and yet completely familiar. Read More
  Since “selfie” became Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year, the internet has been abuzz with mediations on the trend’s implication for young women, the group with whom the trend has become most popular. Does the validation of the selfie as a word and as a fixture in modern society hurt or help those who take them?   Flavorwire’s Michelle Dean and Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan view the photographic medium as dangerous to young women’s self-esteem and sense of worth. Read More
Jean “I don’t give a damn of what people think of me or the way I dress, I dress for myself because I love style and design and color.” This statement may sound like the devil-may-care attitude of a stylish twenty-something, but this sentiment actually comes from the mouth of Bridget, a seventy-five year old Brit, one of six older women featured in the TV documentary Fabulous Fashionistas, which recently aired on Britain’s UK Channel 4. Read More
  From today until March 2nd, we the public have the honor of gazing upon Thomas Kluge’s ginormous portrait of the Danish royal family at Christian VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg before it retires to the Fredensborg Palace to live with the family.    Kluge spent four years on his masterpiece, but it hasn’t been well-received. Because it’s, well, kinda creepy. Prince Christian, the young heir to the throne, stands in the foreground, dressed all in black. Read More
  As children, many of us turn to our toys to navigate our developing identities. Sometimes, our dolls serve as surrogates; we parent them the way we see our children parenting us, and we identify with them. Photography operates similarly: as teens, we might dog-ear or collect magazine images that appeal to our expanding sense of self. Since so many dolls and photographs in mainstream fashion magazines present a grossly limited definition of femininity, it can be damaging to use them as a means of self-definition. Read More
  In Saudi Arabia, images are censored in extreme ways; figures in magazines are drawn over or crossed out. In “Out of Line,” the photographer Jowhara Al-Saud presents a groundbreaking approach to her country’s limits on free expression. Her photographs obscure any personal markers; the faces of her subjects are erased. The images could easily be mistaken for drawings, and this ambiguity only adds to the frightening sense that the viewer isn’t being told everything. Read More
Imagine leaving your home and family at age 13 to move by yourself to a country where you don't speak the language or know anyone. "I was devastated," Pimprae Hiranprueck told Slate magazine's David Rosenberg of when her parents sent her from Thailand to attend school in the States. But a few years later when she went to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Hiranprueck was able to turn her feelings into a beautifully self-reflexive project. Her senior thesis, "Intersecting the Parallels," is a study on home, memories, and distance. Read More