Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Octopus Barbie represents women lawgivers

The New York Times headline says it all:

Move Over Moses and Zoroaster: Manhattan Has a New Female Lawgiver

Men are represented by actual men.

Women are represented by a "female" and to underline the fact that women don't get to be represented by actual women, the artist hung Ruth Bader Ginsburg's collar on Barbie.
(the) shimmering, golden eight-foot female sculpture, emerging from a pink lotus flower and wearing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s signature lace collar.

Staring regally ahead with hair braided like spiraling horns, the sculpture, installed as part of an exhibition that opened last week, is the first female to adorn one of the courthouse’s 10 plinths, dominated for more than a century by now weathered statues representing great lawgivers throughout the ages — all of them men.

The artist Shahzia Sikander claims:
“She is a fierce woman and a form of resistance in a space that has historically been dominated by patriarchal representation,”
Nothing says fierce resistance like a Barbie body but with no arms or feet.

This is bullshit.

As soon as I saw it, I was reminded of this statue from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Willow Rosenberg tried to destroy the world.

Although to be fair, the evil statue from Buffy has muscular arms and six-pack abs and wears a snake, so actually looks powerful.

There is a statue of Ruth Bader Ginsberg in Brooklyn.

I'd rather have women represented by Ruth Bader Ginsburg than by Octopus Barbie.

The city of New York hasn't made such a bad artistic choice since they hired Sophie Blackall to create art that took the place of perfectly good subway graffiti.

I first learned about Octopus Barbie via Instagram and the comments about Octopus Barbie were overwhelmingly negative, but of course the Art Experts had to come to the rescue.

The response of the Art Experts was the same as the time I criticized Sophie Blackall's work. It always goes like this:

                    ART EXPERT

Art is an individual experience and we all have our preferences so there is no right and wrong.

                    RANDOM PERSON

I don't like that piece of art you consider good.

                    ART EXPERT


Monday, January 16, 2023

Cool new pic at the Frick

Really striking Renaissance portrait recently acquired by the Frick Museum. 

The painting, an anomaly among Renaissance portraits of women, which tended to promote a more modest and restrained image, is the most significant Renaissance painting acquired in more than half a century by the Frick, which is known for its Old Master paintings and European fine and decorative arts, Ng said. It is a gift to the museum from the trust of a longtime board member, Assadour O. Tavitian, who died in 2020.

Neither the identity of the woman nor the purpose of the portrait is known, Ng said, and it does not seem to clearly fit into any of the reasons for which portraits were often made of women: betrothals, engagements or a couple’s move to a new, grander house.

“The demureness of what was much more of a quote-unquote feminine expectation is sort of out the window here,” she said. “Whoever is looking at her is definitely getting judged back.”

What makes it so riveting, I think, is the combination of the super-realism of her very 16th century garb combined with the 21st century gaze of the subject. Good job Frick.