Most Young Queens Get Their Heads Cut Off

This is the photographic exploration of society’s impact on young female artists and the sexism that occurs within the scope of the art world. The title of the show was adapted from a quote by Jean-Michel Basquiat, but I’ve swapped the word “queen” for “king.” Being a female artist signifies that being a woman precedes being an artist, but no male artist is ever discussed or singled out in the context of his gender.

 

I created this project in order to personify the “execution” of esteem and success for female artists in a world where the patriarchy still reigns supreme. I elicited the help of models who connected with the concept. They all identified as artists, though some found it hard to claim this title because of deeply rooted feelings of inadequacy.

 

Due to an absence of American Queens in history, I emulated what a commissioned painting would look like. I was most inspired by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and The Guerilla Girls.

 

To illustrate the sensation that a battle is occurring between the artist and society, the models wore either a garment that evoked a sense of royalty or a sense of impending war. The variation of their expressions reveals the differences of how women encounter this issue.

 

Sexism is a real and profound structural problem in our culture. So, we have to continue to make art and make noise.

© 2020 by Lila Marks.

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