GRandall

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    How have women in the arts been erased by their husbands and male relatives in history?

    Frida Kahlo and many other female artists in history have been overshadowed by men- often men close to them that could easily socially overpower them. During her life, Kahlo was the lesser known artist between her and her husband- Diego Rivera far overshadowed her until after her death, and during her life she only had one solo exhibition of her work in her home country. Who are some of the female figures in the arts, specifically visual arts but also literature and other mediums, who have been made to stand in others’ shadows? Could be an interesting topic to help bring awareness to lesser-known female artists, or show a different perspective for artists that are now well known after their deaths.

    • Insightful topic! That would be interesting - there is an architect called Denise Scott Brown who had a firm with her husband Robert Venturi. Despite her undeniable skill and leadership within their duo, he was awarded a Pritzker Prize for the firm's work (the highest accolade in architecture) and she did not. Scott actually boycotted the award ceremony in protest! Such an unknown story, but I'm sure its not an isolated incident in the creative industry – danielleraffaele 2 years ago
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    • An example that immediately came to mind was the Victorian artist and poet Elizabeth Siddal. She is best known for her involvement in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and as the model for the famous John Everett Millais painting, 'Ophelia'. Her husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, painted her frequently and by all accounts, they had a very happy marriage. Siddal was a very talented artist and her work almost always included themes consistent with the rest of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but because she was a woman a lot of it faded into obscurity. – katyharrison 2 years ago
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    • The term "erased" does not quite seem appropriate for this topic, because it denotes that the female artist's work was somehow done away with, and if that is so, we would not have evidence of their work at all. The term "overshadowed" would serve the topic idea better, for their are many female artists subjugated to the backgrounds of their men, husbands, or creative groups. We have to remember the social customs of the times that these women artists lived in and consider that many of these women had reasons that caused them to remain in the shadows for the different time periods, such as when female independence was not socially acceptable and doing so could mean having to sacrifice her security and or survival. It might be a good idea to convey your point by narrowing the time period you cover so that you can add more breadth to the art historical context of the artists you choose to mention. Hope that helps! – mckelly 2 years ago
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    • Hatshepsut is a great example to use, a lot of what she worked towards was defiled after her reign in Ancient Egypt. – Zohal99 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    By the time I reached my teenage years I made it a rule to ALWAYS read a book before going to see the movie adaptation (e.g. Hunger Games and Fault in Our Stars). The problem with a lot of adaptations is the tendency to emphasise what they want to emphasise in the source materials- usually action and romance. Hence we get something like the hunger games movies, where the actual message of rising against the rich and empowered by the poor, by people of colour, by disabled people, gets completely lost in the Capitol-themed makeup kits and the people who are too lost in the question of which boy Katniss will fill out the baby boomer dream of making pretty little babies with to remember that in the books she was a WOC, she and Peeta were both physically disabled and traumatised- Rue is reduced to a footnote- all the things that apply to our current world and Actual Real Problems (i.e. the things that made the books relevant and good). I can live with awkward script, or if they give a plot role to a different character to move things along. It’s when the actual themes and ideas of the material is lost for marketability or to make the film ‘more interesting’ that I leave the theatre bitter.

    The Art of Adaption

    Callout culture definitely has its problems- as a tumblr user i’ve more than once seen people I know accused of things they didn’t do, or hounded for simple mistakes. It CAN go wrong- but the fact that actual wrongdoers and bigots try to use those mistakes to cover themselves up or even justify themselves makes my gorge rise. We as humans need to be smarter and kinder to each other than we are, and we can’t get lost in labels of who’s ‘allowed’ to speak up if they’ve been assaulted based on gender, or whether or not they live up to some standard of masculinity, or because we want to believe some actor we like when they say, ‘oh, it was just a game’, ‘I was just flirting’, ‘you’re taking it too seriously’, ‘they’re lying to bring me down’.

    Censorship: Post-Weinstein, and the Impact of Social Media

    The only downside to being an artist with cats is how often my shorthair Paul will see a paintbrush in use and think, ‘Ah! Perfect to rub my face all over!’ and shove the brush halfway across the canvas. Outside of that, the line ‘…the working studio can be isolating and a cat brings life to that space, while still providing artists alone time to thrive,’ is exactly right. I can’t let in my dogs while I work, because they need to be watched to make sure they’re not getting into trouble, nor am I able to much done around human non-artists. Cats (other than Paul, a deeply weird specimen who I adore) have the perfect balance of affection and desire for personal space that lets them keep you company without smothering you or being overly distracting. But if I take a break every now and again to scratch under Paul’s neck when I should be meeting deadlines, that’s between me and him.

    The Truth About Cats and Artists