Mark Hudson looks at how the artist saw the women in his life – as either goddesses or doormats.
Weeping Woman (Dora), (60 х 49 cm, 23 ⅝ х 19 ¼ inches) is an oil on canvas painted by Pablo Picasso in France in 1937. Picasso was intrigued with the subject, and revisited the theme numerous times that year. This painting was the final and most elaborate of the series. It has been in the collection of the Tate Gallery in Liverpool since 1987.
“For me she’s the weeping woman. For years I’ve painted her in tortured forms, not through sadism, and not with pleasure, either; just obeying a vision that forced itself on me. It was the deep reality, not the superficial one.
Divided into 5 categories, the exhibition is spread across mediums representing the woman as an emotion – Harmony; Love; Pride; Devotion; and Acquiescence; throwing light on the stylistic differences in artists’ expression conveyed by the female form.
Harmony represents the woman as a lover, engaging in a tacit dialogue with her companion.
In 2011, DC Comics relaunched their entire line of comics in hopes of revitalizing their brand and attracting new readers. With The New 52 came a lot of controversy surrounding female creators and characters. The loudest public outcry has been over the perceived objectification of women in Red Hood and the Outlaws (by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort) and Catwoman (by Judd Winick and Guillem March). Here, I intend to prove that the protests are justified and that the depictions of Starfire and Catwoman are indeed objectifying.
Historically speaking, the typical viewer of a work of art was a male, just like the typical comic reader is a male (heterosexual with disposable income). It wasn’t until fairly recently that the term “male gaze” was coined to give voice to these assumed eyes that were viewing works of art. It not only describes the perceived viewer but it also comments on how the work of art was, and still is, constructed in order to please this assumed male patron. A female is thus turned into an object when she is there solely to give pleasure to this male gaze. Conversely a female is treated as a subject when she is a fully-formed, three-dimensional character that is an active and vital participant in the story or image. In a single image a female can be turned into an object or treated as a subject. Women throughout art history have been objects meant to be looked at. Just like the Barbara Kruger piece on the right states: “Your gaze hits the side of my face.”