The Use of Art in Women’s Rights Movement

By Alejandra Gonzalez

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, feminism placed an emphasis on cultural battles. Art had an important role that allowed women were allowed to express their experiences freely to show the world they’ve been ignored for too long. The most powerful tool to express their struggles as women is nonetheless through art in all it’s forms. Women were able to reclaim what had deemed them as less. Since it was men who painted women were often misinterpreted objects in the cultural art world. Although there’s no doubt some of them are world’s greatest artworks, it was time to bring to light the achievements of women in the field.

Despite the little spotlight on women’s work there are, a few notable works/artists: for example;  Linda Nochlin, an art historian, questioned through her article’s title Why Have There Been No Great Women Artist? The answer likely lies in the fact that women are neglected as artists. In 1964 Yoko Ono performed her Cut Piece. She had sat on the floor in a traditional, passive Japanese pose and let complete strangers cut pieces of her clothes until she was naked. This act was loudly protesting violence against women and it was the first of its kind to cry out for women’s rights. While challenging the domestic roles expected of women, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the “maintenance artist” as part of her Maintenance Art manifesto, performed in an art gallery by cleaning it in 1969. 

With a few named works, women changed the political culture that revolve important issues through the use of art. Their artistic work continues to inspire new generations of young women artists and fighters for women’s rights, while bringing issues to light in creative ways that did get attention internationally and is still talked about today. It is fair to say that the impact of feminism certainly improved the status of women’s rights, even though there is still more to be done.

Categories Art

Cover Art: Lady Gaga’s Evolution

By Vicky Hernandez

With the spotlight on Lady Gaga, because of her role in her current award-winning movie, “A Star is Born”, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta’s talents are being highlighted in both acting and singing. Her  career did not start just recently with the movie, but instead at the early age of 4. She began to produce albums in 2008, which lead her to create her global top charted song, “Poker Face”. She continued this huge success by creating more albums to further grow her success. Lady Gaga was always very mysterious and attention catching, not only for her personality but for her symbolic cover art in her albums. “Art pop” was one of the top cover albums that was most attention calling; which presents a nude Gaga sculpture appearing to give birth to the world in the form of a large blue orb, with other framed art works chopped up in the background. As well as in the album cover “Born This Way” she reflects on her what we call “Meat loaf period” which is when nothing is too dramatic, too gaudy and no song was to big for her. Lady Gaga expresses her views on life and life morals through art and portrays her more in depth experiences through her music.

Womanhood into a Work of Art: Elizabeth Catlett

By Alejandra Gonzalez

In her 70-year long career, Elizabeth Catlett created sculptures that celebrate the strength and endurance of African-American and Mexican women. Granddaughter of former slaves, Catlett lived in Washington D.C. for more than three decades until moving to Mexico City with her husband on a grant from the Rosenwald Foundation. Catlett used her art to explore themes relating to race and feminism through sculptures, paintings, and prints, in which most women during the mid-1900’s could share similar experiences. Catlett was refused admission to Carnegie Institute of Technology because of her race, later enrolling at Howard University. She graduated with honors in 1935 and went on to earn the first Master of Fine Arts in sculpture at the University of Iowa five years later.

Being black herself, race has had an influential impact on her, Catlett highlighted the struggle of black people with her art. In hopes of being vocal on segregation and the fight for civil rights, Catlett explains “I have always wanted my art to service my people—to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.” Her work began to gain interest during the 1960s and 1970s, almost entirely in the United States because of social movements her works covered like the Black Arts Movement and feminism. Catlett is known largely for her sculptures, especially for works such as Homage to My Young Black Sisters (1968) and various mother-child pairings, later becoming one of her central themes.

In the 1940s, she traveled to Mexico on a fellowship and began to paint murals influenced by the work of famous Mexican artist such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Until her death in 2012 in Cuernavaca, Mexico at the age of 96, Catlett received numerous awards and recognition. Catlett’s artwork are held at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the
Art Institute of Chicago, amongst others.

Abstraction of Chella Man

By Kaitlin Wright

As a 19-year-old deaf, genderqueer, Chinese-Jewish artist currently transitioning on testosterone, Chella Man’s abstract art style is unlike any other. Living by “Be Your Own Representation”, Chella Man takes the time to open up honestly about who he is and how he feels, particularly on these mass accessible platforms while inviting others to learn more about the LGBTQ experience. Being deaf is a struggle, and being queergender adds onto the feeling of seclusion in society, with no definite way of coping besides using art as a strategy. Social media outlets allow Man to be himself and become a role model for people who identify with same or similar struggles as him. His art is abstract, described as simple yet intense by many followers who find comfort and a sense of connection with him. Many of his works are simplistic line drawings, similar to Matisse sketches, but with enhanced detailing, a little more graphic, and with political or emotional implications.  When asked about his art in an interview, Chella said “Art has always been cathartic for these frustrating emotions. It is a type of therapy for me; so, I am constantly sketching, especially on the subway. I feel as if the abstraction of my art reflects this state of mind. The sharp, geometric lines incorporated in my art mix together, creating a type of calm chaos. It has its own original style due to my unique perspective of the world being deaf.” A recurring theme in Man’s work lately has been sketches based around a few revelations about maintaining a healthy relationship, where he gets inspiration from his first serious one when he was sixteen years old. Chella’s main muse is purely life experiences and how they make him feel, and he hopes to have his art meet with those who relate.

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Meet the Artist: Salvador Dali

By Alejandra Gonzalez

Spanish painter, sculptor, filmmaker, printmaker, and performance artist; Salvador Dali, remains one of the most celebrated artists of all time. Known for his surrealism work in the 20th century and his creation of strange creatures based off everyday objects that allow the unconsciousness to express itself, Salvador Dali inspired a new generation to use imaginative expression.

Dali was born on May 11, 1904 in Figueres, Spain to an atheist father and catholic mother. These different set of beliefs heavily influenced Dali’s worldview. As the years progressed, his parents caught on the talent he carried within, although his father did not support his ambitious, he continued to do what he was best at. After several trips to Paris, he met Andre Breton who exposed him to the world of Surrealism and held his first solo exhibit based on the movement. This was the beginning of his iconic boundary breaking art in every dimension.

He is best known for his piece, The Persistence of Memory, completed in 1931. Shown below,

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Oil on canvas – Museum of Modern Art, New York

Utensils

By Eduardo R

Miniature sculptures made using led pencils seem pretty odd, right? From meaningful sculptures to incredible ones, it is something we haven’t seen in the art world. However, a pencil’s led disfigured can be turned into animals, cars, signs, logos, characters, landmarks, items, and many known objects around our surroundings. Patience to carve led into something new and artistic takes time which 46-year-old miniature sculptural artist Salavat Fidai proves. Fidia shows his art on https://www.salavatfidai.com/. and on his Youtube channel with 53k subscribers, when he also gives a glimpse of how he carves the led colored pencils. Art that comes from a utensil that we use everyday, such as a pencil, exemplify how our everyday products can be taken for granted.

The Accidental Sculptor

By Kaitlin Wright

Realistic sculptures of babies that have distorted, creepy faces and limbs seems disturbing and possibly gory, but in the art world, this is the opposite. Tiny disfigured baby figures are placed in daily over-looked items such as: tins, gumball machines, jars, pill cases, and into books. These usually replaces a common item that would be found in these containers. The creator of these tiny sculptures goes by @qimmyshimmy on Instagram, but is a 27-year-old sculptor from Singapore who goes by the name of Qixuan Lim.Her website, www.qimmyshimmy.com, gives a few glimpses of her popular pieces.

Qixuan never intended her art to end up with a platform as big as she has now, as she had only created what she found interesting. Her pieces often depict a very round and chubby baby face, organs, and limbs, that could be made into sculpted pastries such as cake, pie, and macaroons placed into opened boxes as a surprise.

Rizzo

By Eduardo Ramirez

As the art movements continuously evolve throughout the years, many artists have come up with unique ideas to express creativity. This includes making art with unusual items, such as Italian painter Roberto Rizzo. Rizzo’s painting is inspired by nature and animals, a perfect combination within his paintings. Instead of a traditional canvas, he used rocks to paint on. Rizzo’s combination of his imagination with wildlife shows how art can come from anything.

What You May Not Have Known About Vincent van Gogh

By Alejandra Gonzalez

Vincent Willem van Gogh, a post-impressionist painter, whose work, notable for its beauty, emotion, and color, highly influenced 20th-century art. Yet, not many know of uncommon facts from this iconic post-impressionist.

  1. Astonishing amount of paintings in less than 10 years

From November 1881 – July 1890, van Gogh produced nearly 900 paintings. At the age of 27, he abandoned his unsuccessful careers as an art dealer to concentrate on his paintings and drawings. His muses consisted of peasants, farmers, flowers, landscapes, and himself because he was too poor to pay his subjects.

  1. Unsuccessful life

Van Gogh didn’t achieve fame from his paintings in his lifetime and constantly struggled with poverty. He sold only one painting while he was alive: The Red Vineyard which went for 400 francs (about 400 U.S. dollars) in Belgium, seven months before his death. His most expensive painting Portrait of Dr. Gachet was sold for $148.6 million in 1990.

  1. His most famous painting was created in an asylum

Starry Night, his well-known art piece, was painted in an asylum at Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. He voluntarily admitted himself to recover from his 1888 nervous breakdown that led to him cutting his own ear off. The painting depicts the view from his bedroom window. It has been part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection since 1941.

The Pop Art Movement

By Eduardo Ramirez

Pop Art is art primarily based on current popular subculture and mass media, which tends to be an ironic comment on typical artwork values. The Pop Art Movement in the 1960s has also suggested mixed media and expressionistic tendencies. Robert Rauschenberg is a figure admired for the textured appearance and abtractures of his Pop artworks. Other artist of this movement were Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Rosenquist all from New York.

Artworks inspired throughout history has improved  many parts of the  art industry. Comics are a product of pop art, as it emphasizes expression of pop culture. Artworks such as Still Life WAAM use imagery from pop art. The Pop Art Movement has inspired art in galleries comics, articles, and newspapers.