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.
Cristy C. Road, a Miami-raised, Brooklyn-based, Cuban-American illustrator, writer, and of course, total dreamboat, is no stranger to DIY, punk, queer, zine, and activist communities all over the place, and certainly no stranger to the pages of Bitch magazine. You might recognize her work from covers of books such as We Don't Need Another Waveand The Revolution Starts at Home, or maybe you've caught her on tour with Sister Spit The Next Generation when they rolled through your town, or perhaps you've flipped through an issue or two of Green Zine, or you stole your ex's copy of Bad Habits, or you saw her band play in someone's basement, or maybe you've never heard of her at all, but basically, she's a big deal, not to mention a badass. This is what happened when I sat down for a chat with her on a sunny Friday morning, pajamas on, and breakfast in hand. Cristy shared her feelings about everything from her art, to astrology, to racial dynamics in radical communities, to cats and brunch. It's all here for you to read, so let's get started!
You know when you come across a super rad zine artist and you're really into their work, then you casually waltz into a comic shop, and you find one or two of their zines from years and years ago, but you get pretty bummed that the zine and comic shops in your area don't have a sufficient selection, so you scour the Internet but can only find so many other things, then you realize you've wasted hours looking for who has the lowest shipping costs? You then proceed to read every interview with them, you learn all you can about their life, then you step back for a minute, and it hits you—maybe you're a little obsessed with the artist and you feel weird about it, but you end up e-mailing them professing your undying love for them and their work anyway? Please tell me this isn't something only I go through.
Regardless, starting right here, right now, I will be taking you on a journey, showing you why I love three incredible queer zine artists, and why you should love them too.
This month, the Ladydrawers team, led by Anne Elizabeth Moore, is presenting some new data on who's getting published in the comics industry and who isn't. Even though, according to their recent research, the comics creator pool is just 54% male and the submission rates by male and female creators are roughly equal, publishers are more likely to accept work by men—and to commission work from male creators. And non-binary creators? Yeah, they're published even less often.