In 1969, the artist Allen Jones presented the public with what he referred to as a “[representation of] the experience of woman:” a chair, composed of leather, glass, and resin meant to depict a prostrate woman bound to its seat. The sadomasochistic chair was for Jones a realization of a more inclusive art form, appealing to universal erotic urges over the class barriers imposed by the fine arts. The tragic thing is that the artist grossly fails ... Read More
  Etymologically, Kama Sutra emerges from the Sanskrit words for love and ritual or the more literal thread. The idea serves as inspiration for the Cuban artist Erik Ravelo, a resident at Fabrica, the artists’ grant institution associated with United Colors of Benneton. In his series, Lana Sutra, meaning both wool ritual or wool thread, Ravelo constructs erotic threaded sculptures made from plaster casts and yarn.     The works are ... Read More
  We know that various media outlets like magazines and advertisements rely on providing unrealistic representations of the female face and form, leading to the objectification of women and an unhealthy global obsession with conventional good looks. In recent months, Photoshop gifs illustrating the extent to which models’ bodies are digitally altered have gone viral.    In the wake of the unsettling Lena Dunham/Jezebel controversy— in ... Read More
“There is no reason to retouch beauty. We think THE REAL YOU IS SEXY.”  So reads the closing line of aerie’s recent letter to young woman, accompanying a campaign advertising its Spring 2014 collection. The lingerie company, affiliated with American Eagle, is giving their target demographic of girls (aged 15-21) an ad campaign free of retouching. Can I get a hallelujah?!  Titled #aerieReal, the campaign attempts to deal with the beauty ... Read More
Time Magazine recently released a cover story titled “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?” Its cover features the image of a female foot with a tiny man hanging from to the bottom of her shoe. Yes, you guessed it: the leg represents Hillary Clinton, and the dangling chewing gum-like figure is any male candidate who dares run against her in the upcoming presidential election.    The minimalist image has inspired mixed reviews from Slate’s Amanda ... Read More
  The prolific African American photographer Gordon Parks carved a special place for himself within Civil Rights Photography; rather than focusing his documentary lens on riotous and violent scenes, he shot color images of African American families engaging in their daily activities. Against the backdrop of mounting political and racial tension and violence, his 1956 series for his LIFE Magazine photo essay “The Restraints: Open and Hidden” ... Read More
  The best portrait photography is about connection; it’s about breaking through social and cultural barriers that divide us and searching for something universally human within another’s eyes. And yet, we are surrounded by photographs of homeless people that portray them as less than human; too often, they are shot without dignity or respect. These images fail to recognize the homeless as individuals with stories as complex and unknowable as our ... Read More
  Ladies are central to the kid’s television series Adventure Time; I’d go so far as to assert that Marceline the Vampire Queen is one of the most elegantly drawn and complex female characters on TV today. Unfortunately for us girls, McDonald's has excluded all female characters from their new collection of Adventure Time happy meal toys. Yup, that’s right; there isn’t a bubblegum pink dress in sight!    Apparently, the toy ... Read More
  The glorious lady photographer Elena Shulimova lives on a farm, where she and her sons care for and frolic with dogs, cats, bunnies, and even ducklings. In the vein of other starkly maternal photography like that of the renowned (and controversial) Sally Mann, Shulimova lovingly and expertly captures the innocence and experimentation of childhood within the context of the natural world.     Without a hint of condescension or sentimentality, ... Read More
  Ah, pubic hair, how you never cease to amaze the masses. After last year’s release of controversial vulva graphic t-shirt by feminist artist Petra Collins, American Apparel has created some provocative mannequins whose sheer garments expose a large pubic bush and set of perky nipples.    Like Collins’s work, the company’s new window display on NYC’s East Houston Street has elicited feminist acclaim. Arguably, the mannequins ... Read More
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