I discovered Penny Slinger when my sister Clarissa gave me a Tarot reading with a beautiful Secret Dakini Oracle deck some few holidays ago. She inherited this from a mystic friend in which I learned you should only acquire tarot cards from another not purchase (so don't go looking for them at Wal-Mart). The deck was beautiful, the imagery and collage work surreal and haunting at the same time. Slinger's work has been a huge inspiration to me, especially with my Body Bracelet project which explores sexuality, strength and survival. (more on this later)
It is very fulfilling to find a artist I can resonate with - both visually stimulating and poignant in thought. The combination of the two feels like a romance of sorts.
Penny, along with another strong noteworthy female artist Yayoi Kusama used nudity of self as a art form during a time when it was unthinkable for women to do so.
Taking the self out of body by exposure, ownership via vulnerability with a poignant visual and verbal message is a audacious yet bold and admirable message. Let's fast forward to current times, the nipple is being forced free and women's bodies are very much the focus of the minds and eyes of distracted Americans. Women are changing the way they look to be unreal, unimaginable, European noses and skin tones, breasts and bottoms enlarged. The "strong" women is a sheep in wolves clothing, hiding underneath layers of foundation and falsies, screaming at men and women on "reality" tv, showing complacency is of value in exchange for a pair of expensive shoes or a bag. There is a definite difference in expression and exploitation in which my question is where do we draw the line as sisters, brothers, humans, one?
A million thoughts run through my mind daily, maddening but entertaining all at the same time, confirmed in deep conversations I have had with Uber and Lyft drivers over the past few weeks (which I have a theory that ride sharing is a great way to dispel the classicism/ polarization effect social applications have and re-humanize again). The strength of a woman has been on the chopping block, especially as of recent - no question about it. Not to mention for decades to women of color, women who love women (men who love men), women who don't fit the mold and especially for women of darker skin. This escalation in 2014 (progress much?) is frightening and infuriating. I am constantly defending myself, when I speak up on issues, when I speak up when I am offended or feel short handed. Masses of women are homogenized in the media, objectified, physically look and act unreal, thrown away after 35 and vilify each other and praise men who do the same.
Incredible we are, strong and smarter than any man, all of this is very well known. We are our own worst enemies yet when we get together have a surmountable level of strength that is threatening. This perpetuation of negativity is a "management" tool. Let's be better, stronger, wiser and regain ownership of our sexuality.