Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday Inspiration-(tuesday edition)- Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago, The Birth Project, Creation Tapestry, c. 1985 (source)

Judy Chicago, detail from The Dinner Party, Hypatia, 1974-79. (source)

Judy Chicago, Heaven is for White Men Only, acrylic on canvas, c. 1972. (source)

Judy Chicago is a titan of Feminist art- though I'm not sure she would qualify herself specifically as a Feminist artist. Her works are inspiring to me partly because the feminism embodied within her subject matter isn't forced or even necessarily angry. These are the issues she's interested in- and they- very naturally- speak about female-ness.

It seems to me that instead of focusing on representing the exclusion of women from history- The Dinner Party -for example- focuses on including and naming (honouring if that's not too cliche) the women who have been absent. Instead of examining the evils that medicalized childbirth has instilled on women's innate power in childbirth, she is just portraying the realness of that power with The Birth Project.

These may seem like small distinctions- her work is still no doubt uber feminist, however I think the difference is enormous- she is creating a new inclusive narrative where some would only harp on about the absence of those stories.

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