Nasty Woman

In the New York Times article “A ‘Nasty Woman’s of Contemporary Art Fearlessly Renders the Body, author Roberta Smith very eloquently illustrates the contemporary stylings of artist Marilyn Minter. At this time in our nation, women and activists of women’s rights are more nervous than ever that what had taken years to construct so quickly has turned into ruins. Women of all cultures who were born in America and those who immigrated to this once great nation have ultimately been let down by fellow American citizens by electing a presidential candidate who so bluntly disgraced and emasculated women all across the world.

This article explains how Ms. Minter, for nearly 40 years, has worked so hard to gracefully exploit how women see themselves. “Over the last three decades Ms. Minter has operated in the gap defined by feminism, painting and pop culture, carving out a place as one of contemporary art’s bad girls,” states Smith. Minter strived and still strives to express “the ways women do and do not own their bodies”. Her greatest known art works are of close ups, displaying every blemish, imperfection, and to the anti feminist, “the ugly” detail.

In one work by Minter, “Wettest Pam” featuring Pamela Anderson, she shows a very risqué photo/painting that displays how women feel and how it appears to the male audience. But by knowing the background of Minter, how women want to feel without being labeled and judged for being who the world wants them to be. As stated before, she shows every imperfection of the female body in many of her works. In “Shinola” from 2008, she shows a close up of a freckled face woman with a seductive look on her face.

Like most contemporary artists, Minter provokes the viewer to think. I believe that she wants her viewers to feel the seduction in each of her works, but to see the women she portrays as both humans and sexual beings and not just sex objects. Women should not have to demand respect from their male counterparts. It should come with the fact that we were all born the same way, by a woman.

-Catherine Harbin


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