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In true artist form, Marilyn Minter’s work has intentionally, or unintentionally, created controversy, which is genius either way. Since the beginning of her career, she has vexed the critics and public alike with her interesting compositions of hyper-realistic paintings of the female form–to lipsticked smeared lips, to high-heeled feet, to full-color, full-blown provocative images of female pubic hair. Through all of her mediums, Minter is able interpret our deepest impulses, compulsions and fantasies in a hyper-real fashion. Almost like holding up a mirror of our “bling-ed” out culture and purposely shining it right in our eyes.

copyright: Marilyn Minter

For over three decades Marilyn Minter has produced lush paintings, photographs, and videos that vividly manifest our culture’s complex and contradictory emotions around the feminine body and beauty. Her unique works bring into sharp, critical focus the power of desire.

As an artist Minter has always made seductive visual statements that demand our attention while never shirking her equally crucial roles as provocateur, critic, and humorist. In 1989, Marilyn Minter bought 30-second advertising spots during the David Letterman and Arsenio Hall shows as well as Nightline with Ted Koppel, to show her 100 Food Porn commercial. Rather than advertising in art magazines, she used her budget of $4500 to buy these commercial slots to advertise her exhibition at the Simon Watson Gallery in New York City  (30 seconds of commercial airtime during David Letterman was $1,800 in 1989.)

As she would do nearly twenty years later with her Creative Time billboard project, and now with her ‘Green Pink Caviar’ trailer, Minter used a public commercial medium both as an outlet for her art and as an original art form.

Although her book, Plush, came out in late 2014, it nonetheless, still has plenty of people wagging their tongues.  The book consists of 70 color photographs of unshaven female genitalia that Minter photographed over a period of six months. She paid models, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, to grow out their pubic hair and then photographed the results. Minter is not the first artist to be inspired by women’s pubes: painter Gustave Courbet was one of the first artists to paint a female nude complete with pubic hair, and contemporary Japanese artist Saito Makoto is known for his digital prints depicting vaginas covered with grass resembling pubic hair. Most of these pubic hair works are done by heterosexual men and they tend to sexualize the model. Minter, however, is a woman and she sees the subject through the eyes of a female, thus her depictions carry a different set of connotations, focused on emancipation rather than objectification.

copyright: marilyn minter

copyright: marilyn minter

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