Processed Beauty : An Exploration of Femininity in Art History, Mass Media, and Culture
Smith, Katherine O.
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The artist writes, “the paintings in my SIP project call into question the conventions and beliefs of not only older artists, but of a cultural heritage that has repeatedly and continually depicted women as commodities. I would also like to think of my appropriation of Jasper Johns work as following Cindy Sherman's work. In his discussion of Sherman's appropriation of Raphael's ‘Fornarina,’ Loughery writes: ‘The relevant questions, Danto points out, have to do with the alleged truth of personality and individuality in painting, with the deeper reality of masks, with our notions of reverence for classic art-historical imagery, and with portrayals (and relative exposure) of female flesh.’ My SIP paintings also engage in this exploration with ‘the deeper reality of masks.’ These masks exist in our cultural associations with the symbolism of animals and images from art history. For me, the project is was about representing and questioning cultural identity, specifically the historical structure of feminine cultural identity in the West.”