Paintings about women by artists such as Picasso, de Kooning, Botticelli, Rubens, Manet, Degas and Giorgione feature the nude female figure from a purely male point of view. I am using these controversial ‘master’ paintings as starting points and creating new versions that remove the male gaze.
Using the same size and basic compositions as the master works, I de-emphasize the figures of the women to the point where they cease to exist as gendered images, are reinterpreted and then transformed into independent color, shape, line and texture. In effect, they have been removed from the patriarchy.
Visually, these paintings in oil use fluid, gestural brushstrokes. Interlocking shapes are unified like puzzle pieces and almost seem to be woven into the canvas. Color, shape, line, paint and brushstroke emerge before the imagery of the female body. Color is independent from the originals and often purposefully oppositional.
Part of the installation features a long modular row of color copies of the original master paintings, along with preparatory compositional studies that led to these reformations of art history from a feminist point of view.