on nicholas ganz's graffiti women

Nicholas Ganz's Graffiti Women: a collection of work and artist statements from female graffiti and street artists.

it's strange to categorize artwork by the sex of the artist who created it unless the artist identifies with their sex as an artist with an intention of conveying this in their work.  my head starts spinning when i think of the implications of publishing a collection which highlights the very same issue that it proposes the deconstruction of.  it's usefulness or value hinges upon the significance that we assign sex as a distinguishing factor of human experience.  personally, i hate that the question ("Was it made/written/invented by a man or a woman?") even presents itself when i encounter things, but it does matter (for the time being, until our actions and assumptions align with our ideals).

many of the Graffiti Women artists use their art as a means of appropriating and/or redefining femininity.  they feature and manipulate mainstream images and concepts of femininity - pouty girls in lingerie with sinister expressions, crowned whores and bleeding saints and schoolgirls with machine guns, the female form twisted and exaggerated casting a downward gaze upon the viewer.  other artists claim their work to be "neutral," wanting to avoid classification as a subculture within a subculture.

several artists spoke on the theme of street art as a public art, an interface between the individual and the structure of society, a reaction to invasive advertisements and normalization, as though culture were wool pulled over the eyes and graffiti were a tear in the fabric.  i like this.  i like that as artists, we choose that which we wish to see and then make it visible.  i like that one person's vision can be accessed by another.  i like that people are willing to break or bend laws that violate their rights and/or inhibit their experience of their environment.  i admire non-licensed street art that provides social and political commentary as one of the stronger and more humanitarian methods of creating change (if it's true that we are products of our environment, it makes sense to reform that environment by entering into dialogue with it).




miss van


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