Women 's Body Representation Of Women Essay

Women 's Body Representation Of Women Essay

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Many artists, not only in the 20th/21th century, have been incorporating feminism in the artistic field since the 60s. Although feminism was not even a word that existed in their time, they were unknowingly applying its principles. In the 20th/21th century with the word feminism being defined, these movements are stronger. Many artists engaged in the critique of women’s body representation, discussed the lack of women in art history, questioned the institutions, and even though we are in the 21st century, women are still trying to deconstruct the imagination of a patriarchal society and macho culture.
Paula Modersohn-Becker, for example. Paula Becker was one of the first avant-garde artists to challenge representations of the nude female figure as seductive or femme fatale. Becker focused on painting women’s bodies, but not in the way a male artist would, but from the perspective of a woman which was very challenged, and a new perspective for her time. She explored the female figure and used her own figure and portraits to reflect the place of women in the world and in society. In her painting “Self – Portrait on Her Sixth Wedding Anniversary” (1906), expressionism style period, we can see a naked pregnant woman, representing Paula’s pregnancy. She wears a necklace and loose white shorts, besides that, she is completely naked. Paula Becker left her husband to follow her painting career. Therefore, this work is important for modern feminist art history because she is not only demonstrating freedom in every sense in this portrait, but also deconstructing the mentality that women need to marry and have children. In addition, Becker broke barriers and patterns demonstrating that the women’s bodies are so much more than just an objec...


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In conclusion, there is still a long way until women’s artists be recognized as the way they should. Be an artist is difficult, be a woman artist is more. In an interview with a Brazilian artist called Beatriz Milhazes, when asked if there is any part of being a women’s artist is easier for her in any aspect, she commented that for men’s artists is expected them to be successful and thrive, and in a very ironic way, her beginning of career was easy because people did not expect a lot of her works anyways, so they were impressed. How sad is that? I believe many women’s artists such as Paula Modersohn – Becker, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Lee Krasner, Miriam Schapiro, Judy Chicago, Barbara Kruger and many others are little by little conquering its space, consequently, raising awareness of women’s artist situation and paving the way for future female artists.

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