Author Archives: Madeline Kessler

Inside Amy Schumer: Feminist Art in Unexpected Places

Feminist art in the 1970s and 1980s created a dialogue about the gender inequality in society. Our modern day Guerrilla Girls have taken off the masks; they are still battling against the same problems, but their methods have changed.

Amy Schumer does comedy that you can’t ignore. Is it because of her sketches’ catchy songs or their on the money exposes of the impossible standards that women face in society? It’s quite the head scratcher, but, lucky us, we can watch to find out.

Topic 1: Expiration Date

The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist – Guerrilla Girls (1988)
Last F**kable Day – Amy Schumer (2015)

Youth and Beauty don’t last forever, but man’s ability to get in the way of a woman’s success stands the test of time. Ladies, get ready to disappear after fifty!

Topic 2: Just Put it On

Super rich / Ultra gorgeous / Extra skinny / Forever young – Barbara Kruger (1997)
Girl You Don’t Need Makeup – Amy Schumer (2015)

A woman isn’t a woman until she puts on her face. And by face we mean enough makeup and contouring to put photoshop out of business.

Topic 3: We Can’t Even

Who Does She Think She Is? – Ellen Hochberg (2012)
12 Angry Men – Amy Schumer (2015)

You don’t conform to the societal standards agreed upon by a select group of men? Don’t even think of going out in public without consulting that plastic surgeon first.





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Topic 4: Make Me a Sandwich

Semiotics of the Kitchen – Martha Rosler (1975)
Nutritionist – Amy Schumer (2014)

A woman’s place doesn’t have to be in the kitchen anymore, but she better spend the rest of it in the gym.

Topic 5: Clear Eyes

Three Weeks in May – Suzanne Lacy (1977)
Football Town Nights – Amy Schumer (2015)

Try to raise the issue when people don’t want to hear it and they’re gonna be like “imma let you finish but…” Don’t let Kanye interrupt your speech, keep going.

BONUS: Free the Nipple

The Free the Nipple campaign fights for a woman’s right to bear it all. If you can walk around the streets of New York topless, then why can’t you do the same in a photo?

Do Women Have to be Naked to get into the Met? – Guerrilla Girls (1989)
Free the Nipple – (2014)

Boobs and butts are okay as long as they were painted by an old white dude, but try posting your own stuff and get ready to be reported for indecency.

The next time you watch Inside Amy Schumer or go on Instagram see if you can spot the Feminist art connection, it’s like Where’s Waldo? but without all the crowds.

 

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For more info and analysis on Feminist Art, visit the Art Story Feminist Art page.

To watch more Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central, click here.

And the Nominees Are: Ed Kienholz Introduces You to the 2015 Oscar Nominated Films

The Academy Awards, are coming up soon! There are ten movies nominated for Best Picture this year, but how many of them do you know? To give you a little help on the big night, we’ve used Ed Kienholz’s installations to describe some of the Oscar noms and make them a little more relatable.

American Sniper (2014) The Portable War Memorial (1968)

The American Sniper is a War Machine: War, huh yeah. What is it good for? If you’re Ed Kienholz you might say absolutely nothing, but if you’re a member of the Academy, you might say something different. Cast your vote and see who’s right on February 22nd.





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Wild (2014) The Illegal Operation (1962)

The Illegal Operation goes Wild: Turn down for what?! Not hiking the Pacific Coast Trail, that’s for sure. Better hope that all you need is a juice cleanse to detox after a wild night out and not a seat in either of these chairs.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Back Seat Dodge ’38 (1964)

Young Love, Inside and Outdoors: Romance isn’t always silk sheets and scented candles, sometimes all you’ve got to work with is the back seat of a car or a makeshift room in the attic of a candy-colored bakery.

Whiplash (2014) The Ozymandias Parade (1985)

Fight the Power! : Don’t be a doormat! It’s never good to let people walk all over you. Give them a piece of your mind; stand up to the tyrants in your life, from sadistic music teachers to totem-wielding oligarchs.

The Imitation Game (2014) The Bench (1975-76)

Check Your Newsfeed: In the prehistoric age before iPhones there was one type of social media, the radio. And certain people were masters at it. Hitler direct messaged his followers through the radio, and sent tweets using enigma codes. It’s a good thing that the abbreviations in a modern tweet are easier to crack than those codes, or else we’d never know what our favorite celebs were doing.

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After reading about half of the Best Picture nominees, which one do you think will win?

For more art and analysis by Ed Kienholz, click here.

More on this year’s Oscar Nominated films, click here.

Sex sells, no matter the century or the medium… Check out how Gustav Klimt and “50 Shades of Grey” share eccentric commonalities.

Naughty and erotic art and paintings have always been popular. Just look at how much the revered paintings of Gustav Klimt, and the scandalous but beloved – Fifty Shades of Grey novel (and now movie) by E.L. James have in common.

Beethoven Frieze (1902)

Although born in different times, James is on a similar wavelength as Klimt when it comes to sex. They both understand the connection between pleasure and pain: whether it’s enjoying whips and chains, or facing censure for painting your greatest passion; naked women.





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Seduction at a Glance

Fifty Shades of Grey Poster (2015) – Judith (1901)

Desire, do you have it? Do you want it? Our heroines above definitely do. Anastasia, on the left, bites her lip to express it, cluing us in on her preference for a little pain with her pleasure, while Judith, on the right, conveys it with her eyes in Klimt’s soft style.

Sex with God

Danae (1908)

 Being kinky in the bedroom is not a new phenomenon. Although James has made S&M a water cooler topic of conversation, Klimt is the real trailblazer when it comes to putting kink at the forefront of pop culture. Klimt was way ahead of Fifty Shades of Grey when he painted Danae en flagrante, aka in the middle of getting it on, with Zeus represented by the golden shower of rain. Klimt’s very conservative society was more shocked than we were after reading about what went on in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Let’s see how this genre develops in the hands of the next generation: but no matter its highs or lows, we will never get enough.

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For more art and analysis by Gustav Klimt, click here.

More on 50 Shades of Grey, click here.