I got over 90 likes on my newest portrait freebie piece on FB and it got the most engagements I’ve ever had out of 4 years, which I knew I would. I know the tipping point of selling out, I know what it garners, the allure of it, I know why and how people do it. And because I do, I can destroy it.
Do you like how the minute I step into realism territory this shit goes bananas and everyone gets a boner? I’m compiling my art tips into a book because I’m right. What if I told you it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done, made a tutorial on how to do it, and then you realized it was so easy a monkey could do it? And it doesn’t make you lazy? It just makes you smart. And this turns the idea on it’s head that art should be hard and that you need to suffer? And that they won’t tell you this in art school and if they do it’s blasphemy in the art world to even show your hand in this card game? I made these for free to help CC/support CC’s followers/be a cool bro but also to prove my points. It was a social experiment, and my hypothesis was proven.
Welcome to Neo Art; where there are no rules and the ends justify the means.
Alexandra Rose put up this picture on Facebook with the following caption:
Even though most of my profile is private, I’m making this post public on the off chance that the person who reported me will see it if they aren’t on my friends list (I am still unsure about that). Today I changed my Facebook profile picture to a self portrait that I took in September of 2013 as part of a photo project that I ended up abandoning eventually. Even though I gave up on the project, I liked the picture. It holds important significance for me. Just moments after I changed it, however, I received a notification stating that it had been reported to Facebook for “nudity and pornography”. Someone had seen the photo of my bare torso and had immediately been so offended by it that they decided it needed to be removed from Facebook within seconds of it showing up. To the person who reported my photo, I would like to say I am sorry.
I am sorry that you have been conditioned to believe that a woman’s bare skin is pornographic and obscene by default. I am sorry that you cannot separate my skin from sex. I am sorry that you believe the flesh I was born in, that I learned to walk and dance and swim in, that I scraped my knees on the playground in, that I carried my daughter in, that has been held and hurt and rejected and sunburned and painted on and pierced and filled with too much food or too little food and bruised at punk shows, is lewd and meant for the consumption of others and not for my own use.
I am sorry that I was not born male. If I had been, I could walk down a public street showing the same amount of flesh pictured here and no one would bat an eye, because the only sexuality that needs to be silenced is female.
I am sorry that you couldn’t bear to go about your day without correcting my behavior.
I am sorry that a photograph that was meant to be a statement about myself became a target for your own discomfort, that you couldn’t look past my tits and try to see what I was saying.
In this photo I’m crying. In this photo I am 105 pounds and I am tugging and squeezing and pinching at my body to make it smaller, smaller than it was ever meant to be because I have days sometimes when I feel like I am too much, that I take up space that I don’t deserve. I have days sometimes when I want to shrink so far inside myself that no one else can see me. I have days sometimes when I don’t eat enough. I have days sometimes when I don’t want to eat at all. I took this photo to illustrate a part of myself that I don’t have the courage to talk about even with the people I trust the most.
Thank you for reporting me, because until now I haven’t said these things to anyone. I hope that you come to terms with your own issues about bodies and sexuality and skin.
Since this photo was taken I’ve gained ten pounds. I’m healthier now. I still want to disappear a lot of the time, but I can’t yet. I still have things I want to say.
I feel so sad because so many people would’ve just ignored this post if her tone was angry. She had to be apologetic, she had to say sorry for voicing her thoughts. Fuckers. Always tone-policing us. Always telling us we’re emotional. That we need to calm down.
Actually I take that back. I’m not sad. I’m livid.
I wanted to try mimicking my own art style in real life. I create drawings of angry and brutal looking woman. These women, these girls are to to make men, to make you, uncomfortable, to destroy and replace the images of women looking away from the viewer to fall subject to “The Gaze”. I will draw women Gazing at you, we are the Gaze now.
Do NOT remove my comments, and DO NOT reblog onto porn blogs. This is my art, treat it with respect.
This Feminist Art Friday we are taking a bit of a different approach to one of our favorite posts and featuring a contemporary artist you can actually connect with here on Tumblr. You may have seen her work floating around and widely reblogged across the site (including on this blog) and it is impossible not to fall in love with her whimsical folk-ey art.
Phoebe Wahl, a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she received a BFA in Illustration, now lives in the Pacific Northwest. She is also a contributor at Taproot Magazine where she recently illustrated their 2014 calendar.
We were lucky enough to get in touch with Phoebe about her art and feminism, and here is what she had to say:
Showing my work to the world, for me is like putting my diary on display. The images I create are deeply tied to my own experiences, and dreams for my future. I make art about body positivity because it’s what I personally need to hear. My “Practice Radical Self Love” piece was something I painted in my journal, originally. A mantra to repeat to myself. When I posted it on my blog and shared it with the world it was a pivotal moment, the moment where I decided to make a statement I wasn’t entirely sure I could stand behind. Because self-love so radical is hard work. A task that feels impossible. But trying is what we can strive for, and working to be gentle and compassionate with ourselves and others on our lifelong journeys of self-loving.
Our culture promotes body-shaming so viciously, that I think it’s important to begin to speak up and relate to one another about that shame so many of us have in common. The shame that is spoon-fed to us from such a tender age.
I myself hold onto the fear that it is somehow weak and anti-feminist to admit I want to change my body. I am afraid that wanting to lose weight makes me a tool to our misogynistic weight-obsessed culture. But simultaneously I invest just as heavily in the fear that if I don’t lose weight, I am not beautiful and desirable. There is no right and wrong way to be a woman, I think too often feminism is pigeon-holed as just one way of looking and acting. It is believing in equality, and being active and intentional in your own life choices. It is standing up for your self worth. People have told me that because much of my work portrays women in nurturing roles as mothers and lovers, or cooking in aprons and dresses it is anti-feminist and heteronormative. I reject this.
To say that domesticity is synonymous with submission is to dishonor the thousands of years worth of strong and independent women who have acted as homemakers, and the men and women who continue to passionately fill this role of their own volition.
To me there is nothing more sexist and anti-feminist than someone saying there is only one right way to be as a woman. As my mother often tells me “There are more ANDs than ORs in life”. I will wear a dress and makeup AND have hairy armpits. I will help support my family through my career AND be a nurturing, present parent. I will work to lose weight for my own comfort AND I will strive to love myself just as I am. I will sleep with whomever I chose AND reserve the right to say no.
I think it is time we as feminists say no to the cycles of shame and fear we allow ourselves to be tangled in, and stand up to support all people in making empowered and intentional choices rooted in love.
If you’re interested in learning more about Phoebe Wahl and her art, try the following resources: