The artist Marilyn Minter has a unique understanding of human desire. With a singular and provocative pictorial language imbued with themes of desire, power, glamour, and beauty, she creates paintings and photographs that are often both seductive and repugnant.
Informed by feminism and sexual politics, she draws the imagery of Hollywood, fashion, advertising, and pornography, while also referencing the history of art, to create subversive pictures that address the conversation about looking and the female figure in visual culture.
The gallery Regen Projects in Los Angeles is currently hosting a third solo presentation of the artist. Simply titled Marilyn Minter, the exhibition features Minter’s new paintings, photographs and a video work.
The art of Marilyn Minter, comprised of lush works in a variety of media, vividly manifests our culture’s complex and sometimes contradictory emotions around the feminine body and beauty.
In provocative works that range from glossy, hyperrealistic paintings in enamel on metal that depict close-ups of makeup-laden lips, eyes and feet to photographs shot through the wet glass and her broadly popular videos, the artist explores the relationship between the body, cultural anxieties about sexuality and desire, and fashion imagery.
Having strong relationships with feminism, fashion and celebrity culture, Minter's art has been embroiled in controversies from the start of her 30-year-long career.
The subject of bathers has been captivating artists throughout the history of art, from Titian and Michelangelo to Degas, Matisse and Picasso.
Turning her attention to this art historical trope, Minter created a series of large-scale paintings that are poised somewhere between abstraction and figuration. The images are constructed by several layers of enamel paint and finished with the use of the artist's fingertips, resulting in sensuous surfaces with a softened, tactile quality.
By depicting her subjects as empowered objects of desire, Minter addresses and challenges the problematic treatment of women in art. The subjects are both hidden and revealed behind a pane of steamy glass.
In addition to a series of paintings, the exhibition will also premiere a video work My Cuntry, 'Tis of Thee, featuring women writing variations of the word “CUNT” in steam. This act allows the previously hidden figures to be rendered visible through the abstracted surface of the frosty glass. By reclaiming and examining this charged word, the artist has invoked a political call to arms.
The exhibition Marilyn Minter is on view at Regen Projects in Los Angeles until June 23rd, 2018.
Featured images: Marilyn Minter, Installation Views. All images courtesy of Regen Projects.