You’d be surprised how many people in studio visits have given me the advice to ‘make a large replica of a vulva that viewers can climb in and out of’. Time and time again, I tell them, this is precisely what I will never do. Is the issue that there aren’t enough people inside of female genitalia? Hardly. I want viewers to think of this subject matter beyond the idea of what it can do for them. I want viewers to consider the subject of female born/identified genitalia that is providing no reproductive labor, no opportunity for sexual gratification or penetration, needing nothing, revealing nothing vulnerable– simply being, autonomous in and of itself. This is an entirely new way to think of female born/identified genitalia and that is the point. – Sophia Wallace
Her works speak to women, the queer community, and the world at large. Wallace is relevant and bold in her photography and art.
Wallace’s portraits in “On Beauty” prompt the viewer to question the relationship between gender and beauty, objectification, and aesthetics. Wallace states, “I utilized male models- living representations of idealized masculinity- in order to explore the semiotics of the construction of gender."
Wallace’s work is moving and inspiring. She presents problems and gives these problems a voice of sorts.
In her work "Truer” she captures a queer relationship between herself and a lover over 7 months. She produced this piece due to the “systematic censorship” of queer relationships. Wallace states, “The record of such lives can be found most notably in their absence. As such, Truer work as art and as evidence.” The pictures have the depth and weight to speak on queer relationships and touch those in the queer community as well as outside the community. The works in Truer particularly spoke to me because the look similar to my relationship.
Wallace’s work is diverse. She is not afraid to breach the boundaries that often separate race, class, and gender. In her work “Girls Will be Bois” Wallace photographs women who “present a non-normative femininity and thus don’t have the ability to ‘pass’ as straight women or even as lesbian sex object and thus confront homophobia along with class distinctions."
And of course, let’s not overlook the piece that is highlighted on the Tumblr page right now: Cliteracy.
Oh yes, we’re learning all sorts of empowering, shocking, angering, and most of all true facts about the clit. This little piece of human anatomy has been ignored and rejected as a recognizable source of pleasure. Wallace brings up this and many other issues surrounding the clit in her work. We don’t use this word much, it is deemed taboo in most places. Don’t shy away from this work, or any of Wallace’s work for that matter. Embrace it, challenge yourself to learn from it, and you will.
Go to her website. DO IT!: http://sophiawallace.com/index.php