The only curators who have seen my targets in the flesh are men, older men and maybe demographics don’t matter - but the one thing they’ve both said is that they might be better if the women were not known - more anonymous.
Famous women have surely already been done by Hamilton, Warhol, Cornell and so on - that territory didn’t look like it was going to dry up anytime soon. Storm Tharp travels that down that road too and we talked a bit about it in his interview. If you’ve got any input on it one way or another, I’d be curious.
“I don’t want to see her,” said one man who obviously hated Liza Minnelli. But must we like her personally? And if we don’t like her, is this a bad thing? I recall that Jackie O was really unpopular for awhile too. All throughout my childhood she graced the covers of the National Enquirer, surely to rot in hell because she remarried a rich, greasy foreigner.
The fact that these women were known and had worked hard at putting themselves in the public’s eye was part of their hold over me. I’m not saying that anonymous women can’t be interesting but their story is then more up to us.
It reminded me of the model’s role: look good and be quiet. Even I was a little put off when I heard Linda Evangelista talk in Unzipped. Great model, maybe the greatest, tarnished in a second. The collage below is actually not quite anonymous for me. She’s made by a good painter, Wayne Thiebaud, crammed into a Judd box.