A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

(Latch) Hooking into the Male Gaze

That's what I'm talking about! All thanks to Elizabeth for hepping me to the work of Whitney Lee. Ms. Lee executes (sometimes very large scale) latch-hooked rugs based on soft-core pornography. I was very charmed by her artist's statement on her website, which gives viewers a bit of background on her art. Like many people, it seems like Whitney Lee was drawn to the thrill of mixing craft with seemingly dichotomous subject matter, but has achieved a depth and fluidity in her chosen medium .

When I first developed the process for turning photographs into latch-hook rugs, it made perfect sense to me to hook Playboy-style soft-core pornography. The women in those images still possessed the plasticky beauty that in that point of my art career I loved to hate, but this time I was more interested in placing medium against subject in order to point out the dichotomous relationship between a crafty, 'motherly' type woman and a sexually confident 'slutty' woman. In our society it is nearly impossible for a woman to be both types, when really the two should be able to coexist.

if that weren't enough, Whitney started a website, "www.madewithsweetlove.com" to make affordable versions of her art available to the masses. You can order a do-it-yourself kit from her website, which even includes the yarn that you need to complete your rug. Excuse me while I pick my jaw up from the floor.



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