The term “female gaze” was originally coined in 1975 in response to an article written by feminist film theorist, Laura Mulvey on cinema presented from the perspective of the heterosexual man. Lately, the phrase seems to be resurfacing in popular culture. Television shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Transparent,” and Sofia Coppola’s new film The Beguiled, are helping to upend marginalized female archetypes like ‘the harlot’ or ‘the girl next-door,’ and are breaking new ground through the depiction of real, human sexuality. The theme now seems overwhelming prevalent in the art world too—so much so, that New York’s Museum of Sex has dedicated an entire exhibition to it.
Titled NSFW Female Gaze, the new all-women show brings together over 25 of the art world’s most exciting talents to create a dialogue that’s as multifaceted as sexuality itself. It’s the latest in a string of visiting exhibitions aimed at exploring society’s continually changing perceptions of sexual norms at the museum. From large-scale sculptures to digital videos, textiles, photographs, and paintings, it’s the kind of show that poses as many questions as it answers—a clever and intentional feat by its curators, Marina Garcia-Vasquez and Lisa Rivera, who worked together on its conception from start to finish.
“As a team, we found that NSFW [Not Safe for Work], or explicit nude content was gaining increasing interest from our audience,” explains Garcia-Vasquez, who doubles as editor in chief of Vice’s Creators art and culture channel. “When we looked closely at the types of artists and artwork that garnered the most reception, we found that the artists were women making erotica. Art that was self-reflective and about female empowerment was the first thing on my mind.”
While pulling together works for the exhibition, the two curators focused on emerging female creatives over established artists. Included in the show’s lineup, you’ll find work by Aneta Bartos, a Polish photographer who immigrated to New York when she was 16, and Monica Kim Garza, a painter who depicts full-bodied female nudes surrounded by vibrant colors reflective of her mixed Mexican and Korean cultural heritage. “For the curation, Lissa and I were consumed with female artists exploring their identity in challenging ways and utilizing new mediums,” Garcia-Vasquez says. “A big thread that unifies the works is personal narrative along with using their own bodies or experiences as the core of the art piece.”
The Museum of Sex opened its doors in 2002 with a mission to preserve and chart the evolution of human sexuality. NSFW Female Gaze is on show now through to September 24th, 2017.
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createdAt:Fri, 16 Jun 2017 15:59:07 +0000
A New All-Women Exhibition in New York Challenges Perceptions of Sexuality