Women, Pop Art and Feminism

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  • Topic: Art, Marcel Duchamp, Niki de Saint Phalle
  • Pages : 3 (972 words )
  • Download(s) : 391
  • Published : April 9, 2011
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Women, Pop Art and Feminism

It is only recently that female artists have debunked the patriarchal paradigm of artistic expression and American female artist have a special role in this advance. The America of the late forties and fifties represented a conservative, pragmatic, industrial and down-to earth culture that idealized public conformity. However, the 1960’s brought days of unbridled idealism, rampant destruction, youthful exuberance and revolt; it was the first time people were willing to openly challenge the norms and were willing to fight for freedom and equality. With the backdrop of the women’s right movement, female artists began to express social themes linked to feminism and femininity vis-à-vis the aesthetic of pop art of the 1960’s. Although the beginning of pop art takes on a sexist bravado of popular culture, French/American artist Niki de Saint Phalle expresses a complex feminist message in her painting “My Hear Belongs to Marcel”. With the use of found objects, color and overall composition, Phalle crudely depicts the pressures of women in society and seeks to present the pathos of chauvinism. The painting echoes the image a box of chocolates. Phalle has created a heart shaped papier-mâché image edged with lace. Without considering the found objects placed inside the slightly uneven and imperfect heart, the painting espouses a romantic, feminine and soft quality. However, within this girly image, we find readymade objects which starkly juxtapose the inviting figure of the laced heart. Populated with skulls, spiders, lizards, plastic babies and a devilish mustached man; the seemingly innocent heart presents a more complicated reality. The use of these manufactured plastic toys expresses an unwavering connection to the elements of pop seen in the Flux boxes movements of the 1960’s and also in artist such as Daniel Spoerri (Kischkas Breakfast) or Arman (Madison Ave.). These artists, just like Phalle, create art through utilizing of...
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