Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Fabulous Genius


Anonymous Woman No. 57 looks different to me, not quite like the rest. She looks like a man in drag. She is melded with a Shiva, masculine, almost brawny. She hit a nerve with me as soon as she was manifested, looking a bit like some contemporary male artists and performers who use makeup/drag/my stuff dammit to establish their boundary-breaking mode.

Often s/he will appear as a promotional photograph - clearly a man wearing a shitload of face paint, sometimes not all that differently to all the women I have made up throughout the years. - But when they do it, of course it is so much more serious, edgy,  pushing something, questioning something, about something, clearly they're The Genius.

When I made up women to look like Kim Kardasian or Joan Collins, layering on the false eyelashes and lip gloss, they were seen as surfaces, merely containers to be dismissed. I know the routine well; have created and lived it, both audience and participant. Gloriously artificial females are often the empty object and go no further. I can't define if I was bugged or just confused but it irritated me that a guy can take that armor and get art world street cred and we could not. Why is it that when she does it, she has no content, whereas when he does it, he has a dissertation. Maybe what I am pitching here is The Fabulous Genius, lashes, bleached hair et al, a God, not just a Goddess.

3 comments:

Stephilius said...

I love this. The piece and what you're saying here. Really, really interesting.

Eva said...

Have you noticed what I am talking about, Stephilius?

Stephilius said...

Well, I certainly know that painted-up women and painted-up men don't get the same sort of attention or respect. Very different response. But I've never heard it articulated before. That's why it's so cool that you do.