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xy = xx, xy ≠ xx

May 29, 2013

These are some photos of my latest piece- “xy = xx, xy ≠ xx”, as seen at the Laissez Les Femmes Peindre show.

Note: This work was co-painted with Erica Lange, who worked on the underpainting with me.

For this show, a group of 26 women were each given a letter of the alphabet to use as inspiration, & were challenged to depict women in a way that they thought women should be expressed, & seen by the audience.

                I was assigned the letter “y”. My thoughts immediately went to the “y” chromosome- the chromosome which differentiates men from women. I started thinking about how men & women are similar, as well as how we are different- & I’ve come 2 concluscions which I’ve summarized with the phrase “xy = xx, xy ≠ xx”. Like the Chinese concept of yin & yang- men and women are equal, men and women are different.

                I have chosen to depict the following artists based on the criteria below for how I think women should be portrayed in art. The female artists I have depicted in this work are Bjork (for her artistic visionaryism), Peaches (for her fierce sexuality), and Robyn (because she needs no dance partner). The male artists I have chosen to include are Tom Waits (because of his musical, and his long-term committed relationship with his wife), and Leonard Cohen (because of his experimental eroticism, and his famous love of women).

How Woman should be portrayed in art; a manifesto

1.       First and foremost, women should be portrayed more often, and in various roles. As leaders. As followers. As mothers. As lovers. As workers & owners. Women portrayed as successes, as well as failures- villains, as well as heroes.

2.       As women, we are often seen but not heard. We must seek more often to hear the stories of women, instead of having them in the background as silent partners, or art objects.

3.       Women should be portrayed powerful, instead of as victims. We are strong. We are players & protagonists. We take control; take our futures into our hands. We are warriors.

4.       We are sexual, we are female, & we do not have to become a man to participate in society. Nor do we need to sacrifice our sexuality to be strong or virtuous.

5.       We don’t attack our sexuality, nor do we attack the opposite sex for their sexuality. We exist as the best versions of ourselves. We love ourselves, and we let ourselves love others.

6.       We do not (and should not seek) to exist in a world separate world from the opposite sex. The artificial divisions between the sexes dehumanize & hurt us all.

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