When I was in college, I spent most of my time listening to Bad Religion, drinking Apple Pucker straight out of the bottle, and smoking Djarum Blacks. Those were the hardcore years!!! But seriously folks, I couldn't be hardcore if I tried. I'm too worried I'll fuck up my ghetto glitter mani.
When I wasn't at the Hot Topic in the mall buying hair dye, or slutty goth clothes, or pining after the cokehead in my stats class(his pen said WRITE OFF DRUGS!!! Major swoon!), I was spiraling into a deep obsession with Contemporary Art, more importantly, the role of women in Contemporary Art. I noticed a shocking trend! I spent almost all of my damn time pouring over ugly slides of tedious art created by men who had some sort of ejaculatory response to the world around them. They were all suffering sociopaths who decided that the world was just too beautiful(cut to: a plastic bag floating around a K-Mart parking lot)B -to -the- mega ORING!!!
Women were, as they always have been, just a chapter in the canon of Art History, and frankly, it made me CRAZAY in the brains to think almost all of these women were working alongside of their male counterparts, (AS EQUALS!!! ) yet they're almost a cute joke, and it felt like, when you make something when you're a kid, and you've worked really hard on it for like, EVAH, and when you finally finish, you wipe the sweat from your brow, exhale, and run off to show it to your parents, or some elder person, and they pat you on the head ever so patronizingly, and say, "Oh, honey, that is SO CUTE!" and you're all, "IT'S NOT CUTE IT'S A SERIOUS COMMENT ON THE SUFFERING OF THE (whatever show you just watched on NOVA) PEOPLE!" It takes almost a full four years of Art History classes to touch on more than just a few token Renaissance painters, meanwhile, sister's are doin' it for themselves, and no one seems to think the present is relevant. INAPPROPRIATE!!! If Georgia O' Keefe wanted to be Mrs. Alfred Stieglitz her whole life, she wouldn't have even started painting in the first place. Sadly, she spent her entire life attempting to just be mentioned in the same sentence as an artist on par with any of Stieglitz's friends.
My Kanye caps lock is about to get stuck in a 40 page all caps rant about how ridiculous that is.
My point is, we shouldn't need to take a special class to learn about the women artists who have made just as much of an impact, if not more of an impact on the entire history of Art. NEWS FLASH ASSHOLIOS! Just because we have emotions, doesn't mean we want to lay spread eagled on Oprah's couch and talk about how we have cramps. Women are capable of the same sort of fuckery men commit daily, and we don't have to be cute about it or paint with our mentrual blood to talk about how things are different for us, and how no matter what we do, we're just live versions of Real Dolls.
As a young woman trying to figure my way through this man's world, I began to seek out women artists who were kicking everyone's ass in the room, and explaining themselves in a similar vague fashion, just as the men that came before them, or who were working alongside them would. Evasive answers to questions, and beating around their unkempt bushes whenever asked anything about their agenda. You can assume that a Georgia O'Keefe is a vagina, but maybe it's not, and maybe you're just an idiot who can't see past a cliche.
While I'd love to spend the next FOREVAH writing about women artists I love, I'm going to give you two who are my favorites, and then I'll sprinkle some jelly beans in your hand for later.
My first love was Camille Rose Garcia. Honestly, I can't remember how I discovered her, but all we know now is that I have a huge tattoo of her work on my right arm. This love is FOOOORRREVVVEERRRRRR! She's been working out of LA since the 90s, and what I love about her, is that she paints these grotesque landscapes that all look some glamourous sewer. This could be the future. It could also be a cage. Her women are all these dainty little waifs with languid bodies, big beautiful Bette Davis eyes, and they're captives. They float through her cavernous worlds amidst dangerous gnomes, and glittery animals, and they look defeated yet beautiful. Ms. Garcia has only given a few interviews, and most of them refer to her worlds as these anti-utopian societies, and some are a comment on how we are ruining the earth. These are obvious conclusions that any fool could reach. What I love is that even if this is an ugly and terrible rendition of what the future of the world look like, she takes an ideal version of glamourous women and exaggerates it to the point where we can't even tell we're looking at her social comment. A gorgeous satin veil is being pulled over our eyes, and we are none the wiser. She's fooled everyone and that is her middle finger to all the Jeff Koons' of the world. Also, she just illustrated a new edition of Alice in Wonderland. Could a partnership BE more perfect? Don't argue with me. The answer is no.
Next is Miss Van, a French graffiti artist who paints a similarly exaggerated version of the ideal woman. Her demure yet undeniably sexy little rabbits flaunt their overt sexuality all over the filthy streets of europe. However tramped up her ladies appear, there is no question in my mind about their strength. It's like she's running a brothel of sexed up animal women who would be just as likely to kill you as they would to fuck you. In every interview I have read of hers, when asked about why she paints what she paints, she gives the best dismissive answers to date. As a woman, of course I am attracted to the idea of the ideal, but what is more attractive, is that both Garcia and Miss Van have made the conscious decision to take the ideal to the MAXXXX! They've taken a medium that is overrun with self-indulgent men, and discarded the idea of the woman's flaccid wrist painting still lives of flowers and ponies.
Let's stop being polite and start getting real! We're never going to become men, so in the meantime, we can stop wasting our time fighting every single difference between us and start embracing them.
Sometimes it's not defeat if you give them what they want. Sometimes it's the ultimate joke.
Ladies, I'm raising my glass of chillable red to you!
JELLY BELLIES!!!(Toasted Marshmallow edition!)