art, author: Erin, feminist art, pop culture

The Radical Vulnerability of Yoko Ono

This essay appears in Boshemia Magazine: Technology & the Sublime. Above portrait of Yoko Ono by Pirelli/Annie Leibovitz.

If you were to ask your average person to tell you one thing they know about Yoko Ono, they would probably reply that she’s the woman who broke up The Beatles. Maybe they would call her a homewrecker. For decades, this narrow portrayal of Ono has been spat out in the tabloid press, which categorizes women according to three classic stereotypes: the virtuous, virginal woman, the seductress, and the hag. Very seldom are women allowed to blur these lines and occupy real lives full of conflict and character. But a closer study of Ono’s life reveals a thunderous force in an art movement that continues to echo through the 21st century.   Continue reading

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art, author: kylie, beauty

Defying the Male Gaze // On Depictions of Female Beauty from Renaissance Paintings to Modern Photography

“It is said that analysing pleasure, or beauty, destroys it. That is the intention of this article.”

British film theorist Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”

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In the period between the 1300s and the 1600s, the tradition of Renaissance oil painting was in full swing. Rich colors, realistic textures, and a variety of subjects abounded on canvases throughout Italy, France, Spain, and many other European countries. Renaissance painters like Titian, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and da Vinci were painting objects, such as fruit and jewels, as well as the people of their society and their surroundings, such as pets, children, and expensive belongings. The male painters of Renaissance art brought to the forefront in paintings (whether intentional or not) proof of the wealth of those for whom they painted. A fully-set table in a painting, no matter how garnished with spices and seasonings and sauces, could not be eaten; therefore, the purpose of the painting was to display that its owner could afford such a hearty meal and bring pleasure to the owner through this display.

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Carvaggio’s Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge, c. 1605-1610

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