Raw and Radical Women in the Arts is a series of conversations with outstanding women in the arts who are striving to live bold, authentic, creatively-fulfilling lives. In these interviews, they explore the themes of identity, vulnerability, authenticity, loneliness, alienation, discrimination, inspiration, empowerment, and social change.
TRUE STORIES AND INSPIRATION FROM CREATIVE WOMEN CHALLENGING SOCIETY'S STATUS QUO
Let's get real about living a life in the arts and the multi-faceted roles of being a creative woman.
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Dr. Sarah Thornton | Raw and Radical Women in the Arts Podcast
Dr. Sarah Thornton, a writer and sociologist of art, talks about what makes an artist an artist, their role in society, and their need to be active agents of their own career.
I’m very pleased to be interviewing Dr. Sarah Thornton on the show today. Sarah has written extensively about the art world and art market for many publications, including The Economist. She has also written three critically acclaimed books, each of which dives deeply into issues of authenticity, believability and cultural value.
In her book 33 Artists in 3 Acts, one of the research questions was: what is an artist? “The great thing about being an artist is that it is self-defined,” she explained to me, “but it’s self-defined within reason. So, not anybody can just say ‘I’m an artist’ and have credibility and the social role and status of an artist.”
The issue of artistic credibility, she says, hinges on the fact that being an artist is not just a job, but an identity. So artists have to prove their worth in the eyes of the public, collectors, and museum curators.
For more information about this podcast and story, click HERE
Dr. Asma Naeem | Raw and Radical Women in the Arts Podcast
Asma Naeem, Chief Curator for the Baltimore Museum of Art, discusses women and gender fluidity representation in the BMA 2020 Vision initiative.
Today I am very excited to welcome Dr. Asma Naeem to the On Display podcast. Naeem is an art historian and is currently the Chief Curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art. She brings a unique lens and motivation to her work, curating art pieces and installations that directly address issues of social justice, under-representation, and inequity.
The Baltimore Museum of Art recently made headlines for their 2020 Vision initiative, timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in the United States.
Commemorating women and gender fluidity in the arts
Naeem says that while discussing how to commemorate the occasion, the question really became how to recognize the event while also being provocative about social justice issues and representation.
“We decided that the best way to discuss the trajectory that women have made in the past 100 years was to devote an entire year of exhibitions to women artists or artists who identify as women, as well as to focus our acquisitions on works that were made by women,” Naeem says.
The decision to include women artists and artists who identify as women has generated a great deal of discussion.
While some responses to the decision and the initiative itself were predictably adverse—questioning the need to have a focus on women or to be inclusive of transgender women artists—overall the comments have been robustly positive and have even questioned whether the museum has gone far enough to make a real, lasting difference.
Read the story HERE!
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Maïa Mazaurette | Raw and Radical Women in the Arts Podcast
Artist and sexpert Maïa Mazaurette shares her perspective on appreciating the male body and challenging popular culture’s “sex machinery”
Today I am excited to welcome Maïa Mazaurette, who is a sexpert, writer, columnist, keynote speaker, painter, and illustrator, and is challenging gender roles and sex norms through her writing and artwork.
Maïa has been researching the role of sex in artwork for over 15 years, and regularly shares her sex expertise and knowledge through the columns she writes for GQ France magazine and several newspapers. As an artist and painter, she focuses on the male body, in part to challenge what she terms the “sex machinery” of the world’s dominant sexual culture.
Celebrating and appreciating male bodies
Maïa began drawing and painting men after repeatedly asking other women to do the same, but receiving no response.
“Two years ago I decided that I could not keep asking people to do something that I wouldn’t want to make happen myself,” she says. “And I started to look for models and I started to work… and I started to realize that some things were more complicated than I imagined.”
Among those challenges, she says, has been figuring out how to pose her models in a way that is masculine, but not imposing or aggressive.
“What is masculine? What is beautiful for a man?” she asks. “We are used to seeing them as sexy human beings only when they’re doing something because you have the idea that women are passive and men are active.”
“If you want to have one man alone in a picture, and … he’s not applying his power on a human being or an object, then you suddenly have a man who is displaying some kind of female quality and then it’s not sexy anymore and it doesn’t work,” she says.
Finding her way around this problem has led Maïa to experiment with different poses, developing an entirely new “language of position” that translates her models’ sexiness and beauty to the canvas.
Continuing the sexual revolution
Maïa sees her work as a way to continue and even radically change the direction of the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s. That change should include making it possible to appreciate regular male bodies in our everyday lives, and with more frequency.
“As women, we don’t have a lot of occasions to look at men for three hours at a time. Usually we mostly see men who are dressed up and also in museums and also on tv,” she says, adding that 75 percent of the museum artwork we see is female-centric.
Focusing on men in her work changes that dynamic, giving women an opportunity to stare at beautifully rendered male bodies for as long as they wish.
She also wants to help people create a new language around sex, one that finds a middle ground between the somewhat vulgar language and the prim, reproductive-focused language from earlier eras.
Her hope is that her work—both written and artistic—will encourage people consider the myriad of sexual possibilities that are open to them, and have happier sex lives as a result.
“We see that every single piece of the sex machinery is being challenged at the moment,” she says. “It is great sometimes to be puzzled, to be lost, because then we can write a different sex map… My wish is not to say what exactly is the sex utopia. I just want to explain what is mine so that people can disagree and make their own.”
Read the story HERE!
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Viktoria Binschtok | Raw and Radical Women in the Arts Podcast
Artist Viktoria Binschtok shares her artistic process and thoughts on how we communicate through images in a digital age.
Photographer and conceptual artist Viktoria Binschtok joins us today to talk about her artistic inspirations and process, her experience participating in an artist-run gallery, and the impact of family life on her work.
Viktoria studied Photography and Media Arts at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, ultimately earning a Meisterschüler Studium. As a student, she found herself drawn to imagery in our society, how it is used to communicate, and how it changes with cultural evolution.
This exploration became the basis of her creative process. She starts with one of her original images, uploading it to the internet and using a search algorithm to find other visually or thematically similar images. She often recreates these found images in her own studio, adding unexpected elements or color, before combining all the images into collections or “clusters.”
“I just get the idea, and then I go back into my studio and I restage these found images, and then I combine my image and the found image,” she says. “You don’t really have a story behind one certain image, it’s more about visual data … it’s an abstraction on this visual culture.”
Read the story HERE!
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Dr. Barbara Polla | Raw and Radical Women in the Arts Podcast
Dr. Barbara Polla shares her views on women’s rights, feminism, and the important questions women should ask themselves
Dr. Barbara Polla, a medical doctor, researcher, politician, mother, writer, poet, and gallery owner, joins us today to talk about how her career has evolved, her opinions on feminism, and how women can step into their power.
Early on in her career, she attained a medical degree with a specialization in inner medicine, pneumology and immunoallergology, following that up with a number of research positions, including the Harvard Medical School and the French Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris. In 1991, Dr. Polla started her own gallery to represent contemporary artists, often collaborating with other gallery owners to bring fresh, unconventional art shows to the public. She also taught on the relationship between art and fashion at the Institut Français de la Mode in Paris and the HEAD (Haute Ecole d'art et de Design) in Geneva.
The progression of a multifaceted career
She attributes her ability to manage such a diverse number of careers to her energy and passion for discovering new things.
“I think what drives me is the desire,” she says. “I think that, rather than jumping from one career to another, it’s actually like reading a book … I never quit what I was doing … because I was bored with it, but just because the next page seemed more exciting, more desirable.”
Nevertheless, there were many intense years where she was filled multiple roles at the same time.
“In the forties, that was I think the most intense and most difficult time. There was nothing in my career that I could say—okay, let’s postpone this for five years,” she says.
Read the story HERE!
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Marta Zgierska | Raw and Radical Women in the Arts Podcast
Artist Marta Zgierska shares the process of creating intimate, vulnerable artwork based on her own personal experiences
Joining us today is Marta Zgierska, a Polish artist exploring the idea of beauty, intimacy, and the feminine body through her photography work. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Photography, in addition to Masters of Art degrees in Theatrology and Journalism.
Her artwork is inspired by her personal experiences, emotions, and feelings. Her breakthrough series, Post, was based on her experiences after a serious car accident and the resulting physical and mental trauma it caused.
Read the story HERE!
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Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a great podcast about women in art. Very different perspectives and approaches to the creative process with the feminine world in common. Very Interesting and necessary in todays world