Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sherman, Kahlo, Xiuwen

At first glance, Sherman, Kahlo, and Xiuwen appear to have nothing in common. Their styles are so drastically different, it seems that they could not possibly share common interest. Sherman’s graphic depiction of the body and black and white photos seem harsh in comparison to Kahlo’s more tradition paintings and Xiuwen’s brightly lit and ethereal digital prints. However, upon further investigation, these three extraordinary artists, all working at different times, have very common elements in all their work.

All three artists depict feminine issues in their work. Xiuwen depicts a very young girl who is pregnant. So many questions can come to mind when viewing her work: How young is the girl? How did she get pregnant? Was she raped? All these are issues females have to deal with. Kahlo's work reflects her own issues with femininity and being excepted. She was a known bi-sexual and depicts herself in peculiar ways, that at the time were very controversial.

I particularly find Sherman's work interesting. Her series entitled "Untitled Film Still", seems to actually be classic black and white photos taken from movies in the 40's and 50's, but really the photographs are all of herself depicting different female stereotypes from those decades. What interests me in this series of photographs is the implied role of the male in each situation. Men finding her sexy, the female character flirting with the unpictured man, and the working woman in a man's world are all defined by the male role.