“Cute” isn’t a word I’d use to describe most street art. It also isn’t a word I’d usually apply to feminist art. Both types of countercultural expression are about breaking down prejudices and confronting the public in ways that are moving and sometimes unsettling. My favorite work of feminist art that involves menstruation is Judy Chicago’s Red Flag, a photolithograph of a woman pulling out a tampon. The image is meant as an attack against the idea that women’s everyday activities can’t be the stuff of fine art. It is, as Chicago calls it, “Cunt Art.” Nothing cutesy about that.
A work of graffiti spotted in Richmond, VA is simultaneously endearing and profoundly feminist. I would go so far as to call it “friendly.” An unknown street artist painted a pole with red spray paint, turning it into a ginormous tampon. The “blood” runs into a grate in the middle of the street. The tampon features a pair of googly eyes and an inviting smile. Oh, and we can’t forget the little string on the top of her head. Love it!
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