Saturday, August 12, 2017

Woman Artist as Subject, not Object

I don't smile on command. I don't smile just because it's expected. I don't smile if I don't feel like it. I very rarely smile in photographs with my art because it's not part of my job – you don't see photos of Picasso standing in front of his work and smiling like he's selling Coca-Cola.

Even when artists Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol posed for advertisements (for Old Angus Scotch, Pioneer and Sony) they didn't smile. They were there because of their accomplishments, not to be decorative. I rarely smile when standing next to a man in a professional environment because I'm there as an artist – not to be mistaken (or worse, falsely claimed) as someone's date or sexual conquest.

My smile is a gift. I don't hand it out carelessly. But that doesn't mean I never smile or I'm unhappy. I understand that because of my troubled past some comments about the rarity of my smile are made out of concern. To ease your mind, this is my smile in a private moment with friends earlier this week (celebrating a bachelorette party with a little pisco, followed by dancing to Latin music at a Salsa club).

Above: From left, Kate, bride-to-be Pía, Midori, me.
Below: Salvadore Dali for
Old Angus Scotch, Andy Warhol for Pioneer and Sony (click image for larger version).

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