Wednesday, April 27, 2011

As neat as the pantry

(Nicole Eisenman, Death and Maiden, 2009, oil on canvas, 14.25 x 18 in.)

What about the free American woman? In movieland, what are our prospects?

After the age of 40 you can be Maude as in Harold and, with a wonderfully uplifting spirit, but you’ll commit suicide so as not to face old age – and also, you’ve just had enough. Or you can grab your friends Thelma and Louise and drive off a cliff. If you’re upper middle, it’s probably better to be a ball-busting shark or plain old good mom.

And what about the free American woman as artist?

If you want to compete with the guys, you’ll have to be as butch as possible – at the very least, an outspoken feminist. Otherwise, you’ll have to be quirky, lyrical or psychological and preferably the wife of another artist. The monumental is off-limits. But don’t worry: once you die, you can be marketed for the ages.

I'll stop being flip.

Art by women is different than art by men. I don’t see that as the problem. Let’s just broaden the categories and expand the notions of destiny.

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