Tag Archives: collage

Female Gaze Friday: Anya Lsk

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week we’ll take a look at collage by Anya Lsk:

Anya Lsk, Untitled, 2013, collage

Anya Lsk, Untitled, 2013, collage

Anya Lsk, Untitled, 2012, collage

Anya Lsk, Untitled, 2012, collage

Russian artist Anya Lsk’s collages beautifully connect the nude male form with other images. Her first piece references Laocoön and His Sons, an ancient Roman marble sculpture that depicts the plight of Trojan priest Laocoön. Poseidon sent sea serpents to strangle the priest and his sons in order to prevent Laocoön from exposing the Trojan horse ruse. This sculpture is a very influential piece. Following its discovery in the Renaissance Italian sculptors artists as renowned as Michelangelo and Titian created works referencing the piece. You can read more about the history of Laocoön and His Sons here.

Laocoön and His Sons, c. 25 BC, marble

Laocoön and His Sons, c. 25 BC, marble

The sculpture was considered a beautiful piece that masterfully portrayed the male figure. Lsk continues this tradition by incorporating Laocoön into a photograph of two partially nude men wrestling. The photograph and the sculpture both display the male form in tense, sensual poses.

You can see more of Anya Lsk’s collages (and photographs) here.

Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments!

Take a look at our previous Female Gaze Friday: Jen Mann’s Cotton Candy and Sway.

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Female Gaze Friday: Elise Graham’s “Untitled project”

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week’s piece is “Untitled project” by Elise Graham:

Elise Graham, Untitled project

Elise Graham, Untitled project

I stumbled across Elise Graham on Fuck Yeah Female Artists (My new tumblr addiction. It’s INCREDIBLE). Graham works in a very strict format, with collages limited to few source materials, generally including black and white drawing, and sized 8.5″x11″. These works are framed and hung in grids. Graham refers to her collages as “Rearrangements that manufacture false realities” and enjoys the accessibility of the medium.

You can see more of Graham’s work on her website. Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments!

Take a look at our previous Female Gaze Friday: Shizuka Yokomizo’s Dear Stranger. You may also enjoy this post on the famous collage artist Martha Rosler.

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Women in Art: Martha Rosler

Usually when I see an artist (particularly student artists) working with collage I can’t quite shake off the feeling that they’re being lazy.

I’m sure this stems from far too many camp collaging experiences where we just smothered the covers of our journals with chopped up magazines and modge podge, and I also have the nagging feeling that it’s because many of my peers actually are being lazy (I’ve seen far too many half-baked collages thrown together hours before a critique). Collage always struck me as something that may turn out looking wonderful but often lacking in meaning and depth. Appropriating the work of others as the only means of expression in your artwork feels too similar to so many Tumblrs with collage acting as the art world’s reblogging feature.

So when I see Martha Rosler’s work I’m always pleasantly surprised. It goes against all of my preconceived notions about collage (which I’m working on. Sorry to all of those out there who love collage, I’m sure your work is wonderful!). Her work has an emotional value that it might not have in any other medium. By using pre made images Rosler is manipulating the work of popular society into a form of social activism. For example, in her most well known series, Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful, Rosler appropriates images found in homemaking women’s magazines of the period and juxtaposes them with violent imagery from the Vietnam war.

"Beauty Rest" (1967-72)

We see happy American families enjoying suburban bliss as bloodshed and chaos occur in the background or foreground. Even as violence occurs directly in front of the subject they smile with happy naivety. 

"Cleaning the Drapes" (1967-72)

"First Lady (Pat Nixon)" (1967-72)

Interestingly, Rosler has reprised this body of work, applying the same method of juxtaposition to images from current American women and lifestyle magazines and the war in Iraq. Some critics feel that this shows a lack of imagination and innovation on Rosler’s part, but others (including myself) find it interesting that Rosler is examining today’s events and today’s media imagery with the same eye as in the late 60’s and early 7o’s. The similarities between the two series of images is uncanny. The two bodies of work seem to meld together, and barring the advances in technology could be part of the same set of work.

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