I used to be an actress in D movies. They weren't even B because they weren't just bad, they were unbearable, unwatchable, and horribly boring. They were low low low budget indie horror movies that gave me no script, just a general sense of how to act and, most importantly, how to die at the end of our scene. I was painting then, during the days we were't filming. There was no internet back then, and the only person I showed my art to was my 2 year old cat Pooh.
One day a little man was on set with a camera and snapped photos during my shoot. I was split in half by a table saw made out of cardboard (Hey, I got paid) The scene was cheesy, but his photos were amazing. He did this thing where he flicked his arm that held the camera while he pressed the shoot button. What resulted was a photo of a blurred figure with her mouth open in a scream. It was horrifying. He got a gallery show from that shoot and invited me to go.
Billy Corgan is really fucking tall. In the sea of people packed into the warehouse/gallery in Soho, his circa 2001 bald head floated above us all. I dont remember what he was wearing, only the sparkling light that came from his superstar aura, but everyone else wore black. Well, not me.
I wore a yellow and white floral blouse and an orange chiffon skirt, mismatched from the thrift store. I am from suburban south jersey and even though New York is only 2 hours away, it costs 40 bucks to take the train so I never go. Plus traffic, and, people. (If you live in San Diego you know you never go to LA. Don't pretend you do.) I was excited to meet real artists and people like me who were in love with painting.
If you live in Wisconsin you may not know that in New York there is no such thing as personal space. All of the people there will touch you all of the time. And even though it's weird, after a day on the street, on line in the deli, in a cab, in the subway, you will become numb to strangers rubbing against your clothing. So it was the same at the gallery show where people in minimalist black outfits crammed together while Billy Corgan's sparkling bald head floated like a beach ball.
I wasn't shy and talked to whoever was near, about painting and trying hard because I was in love. I was devoted. "What kind of art do you do?" Sometimes they took 2 sentences to tell me before shuffling away. Sometimes I got a smile, I think. Mostly, I was ignored. The guy who bought the photo I was in came up to me and told me it was going on his wall, and I felt creepy. Artists in New York.
6 years later and my isolation and creative excitement exploded on the new site, Youtube, and today as I write this post, I am surrounded by a sea of colorful creative women.On Friday I read this article ; and so I have been thinking. With the release of my newest workshop MIXED MEDIA MARIE, I am thinking about what it is about Miss Antoinette that has some of us so enamored?
Isn't it interesting that what is considered an acceptable androgynous silhouette is minimalistic and masculine. Ruffles and glitter and dangly things and CURVES and color are seen as girly, and girly is seen as frivolous, as over the top, as emotional. As weak.
If you listen to big cities, serious art is minimalistic too. You dont see much glitter in New York galleries unless it is on a 6 foot penis making a political statement. ( Ref: Actually it was Portland Oregon, 2016). Glitter as a deliberate and enjoyable aesthetic? Never.
You also dont see serious men wear frilly shirts, but that wasn't always so. In the late 1700s Baroque and Rococo was the norm, in music, theater, fashion, art, hairstyles. Pastels, graceful curves, ornament, MORE WAS MORE.
Until 1836 when depressed poets started to call frilly style 'frivolous' and in 'poor taste', and replaced Rococo with a return to Neoclassicism - those Greek loving minimalist lines. Democracy comes from the Greeks, but do you have any idea how they treated women? Men went to school and were politicians and women were not allowed to leave the house, except for a funeral. Our love of democracy is deeply tied to the enslavement of women. https://www.ancient.eu/article/927/women-in-ancient-greece/
That is why Marie and her frills are so important to me. No, I dont want a Queen living the high life while I starve, but femininity needs to be injected into all of our attire.
Minimalism as an ideal, "represents a threat unique to women... .and with this masculine, minimal ideal for style, also often comes the masculine, minimal ideal for what a womans body should look like. This body should have little to no curves and should also preferably be flat-chested. Anything that would hint at a feminine curve should be subdued and pushed in. I've taped my boobs to look rightfully minimalistic." - Amanda Brohman
Like Brohman, I too like to wear grey and straight lines once in a while, but frills need to be equated with importance and respect. We need boobs and curves and bows and afros with combat boots. Its okay my ruffles get dirty, I can role them up to change a tire. This is about claiming something. My art is the same - it is layered and complicated and has GLITTER. I don't care if it isn't taken seriously, I know what it means.
The tutus and tiaras are not for me to look pretty for men, they are for me.