Monday, May 29, 2006
Would You Buy This?
A friend alerted me to the work of Sarah Jane Sikora, a British artist whose paintings and sculptures focus on large women. As my amateur photography may obscure, the piece above is entitled, "Biscuit Baiting." Below, a woman pays a visit to her refridgerator late night, and a gentleman from inside, ostensibly her husband, wards her away with a sign that reads, "Go back to bed, Muriel!"
On the web site for Regent Galleries, the gallery that shows Ms. Sikora's work, the artist writes: "Sometimes I am responding to social issues. For example much of my work has focused on turning around the negative relationship, that women, in particular have with their bodies thanks to the media presenting perfect airbrushed models for us to live up to."
Thus, similar to the way African-Americans may try to reclaim the "N-word," Ms. Sikora's work aims to reclaim the concept of fat and to challenge negative internalizations of body image. Unfortunately, I see her work (or at least, some of it) as shaming, critical, and sad. What may have originated as good intention has translated into culturally sanctioned fatttism, not to mention, a rather contentious gift.
You be the judge.