As Bitch hits issue #59 with Micro/Macro, I thought I would shine a light on some of the "micro" behind-the-scenes thought that goes into the eye candy you see in our pages. This post features sketches from illustrator Adriana Vawdrey.
It's not often that income tax audits make big news, but the mammoth of an audit that's been thrown Venus DeMars andLynette Reini-Gambell, a married couple and a relatively successful musician and poet respectively, has been getting some local press in their home state of Minnesota. This MinnPost article features an interview with the couple in which they discuss the details of the situation, but in short: the Minnesota Revenue Department is claiming that the couple's respective artistic careers are not profitable enough to qualify them as "professional" artists and is demanding around $100,000 in back taxes for work-related tax deductions the couple has claimed over the years.
As long as I can remember, my mother had long nails. For that matter, my grandmothers and aunts did too. It was a sign of maturity, like big earrings and high heels. But it was practically a cultural practice, since most of my friends at school and their mothers kept their nails unpainted and shortened to the fingertip. And until recently, I was still the only one of my roommates whose nail polishes didn't fit in one box.
You'll have to forgive the puns. "Cliteracy," for one: a knowledge of women's bodies and female sexuality. "Phallusy," for another: patriarchal misinformation. At Baang + Burne's booth at Scope NYC (one of the many fairs in New York for Armory Week), artist Sophia Wallace rewrites the language of women's bodies, of female pleasure, of (you guessed it) the clit.
Her immersive installation, Cliteracy, features a wall of "Natural Laws" that dominates the space and its viewers, suspended neon text, and a series of posters that read like dictionary definitions, eye sight tests, or political slogans. Wallace's medium here is all text, whether it illuminates, acts as reference, or forces viewers to squint.
While newspapers at home struggle to stay relevant and profitable, reporters abroad struggle to stay alive. Dedicated to exposing the truth, protecting their sources, and improving the quality of life for those living in war-torn nations, the men and women (especially women) reporting intenationally frequently find themselves targeted. Since the Committee to Protect Journalists started keeping track in 1992, 972 journalists have been killed. In her new gallery exhibition of oil portraits, "Frontline Heroines," Seattle artist Judith Larson puts faces to some of those numbers.
"This represents my return to art, because I had a motive," says Larson, who herself has spent the last 20 years working primarily as a reporter. Seattle's Fountainhead Gallery is filled with the large portraits of women killed while working as journalists.
Indeed, clothing and our gendered relationship to it continues to be a site of analysis, performance, and resistance for feminist artists. How appropriate, then, that a new exhibition in Mexico City showcases the wardrobe of one of the art world's most beloved feminist icons. Las Apariencias Engañan (Appearances Can be Deceiving) features more than 300 pieces from Frida Kahlo's personal collection of dresses, costumes, medical paraphernalia, and accessories.
Chicago-based artist Sandie Yi is the virtuoso behind Crip Couture, an avant-garde wearable art project for disabled people seeking to redefine constricting standards of beauty, agency and "normalcy."
Yi transforms traditional, uninspired prosthetics and orthotics into tailor-made creations for clients, taking into account the individual's needs, desires and state of mind. The point is not to manufacture conventional, "corrective" physical aids that blend in with the status quo; instead these innovative pieces capitalize on the diverse beauty found in disabled bodies, highlighting difference and redefining not only fashion but disability itself.
Happening now is the first ever Design Week Portland, which celebrates design as one of our city's most promising cultural and economic resources through a series of talks, exhibits, films, and open studios all across town.
As summer stretches its legs in the Pacific Northwest, Nikki McClure's calendar is helping me count down the months. The cut paper artist seems to be everywhere now: on bookshelves, greeting cards, and fabulous retrospectives in museums opening this fall. McClure is known for her dramatic etchings of everyday life, resistance, and celebration. As Cinders Gallery puts it, "Armed with an X-acto knife, she cuts out her images from a single sheet of paper and creates a bold language that translates the complex poetry of motherhood, nature, and activism into a simple and endearing picture." She's been doing it for over a decade, and despite age, fame, and maybe a little fortune, seems to be as true to her roots as before. And that's what's so inspiring: a continuous evolution of radical art-making that doesn't sell out after life changes like having families or getting older.