THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, I interview the renowned painter, photographer and filmmaker, Marylin Minter! 

A legend on the New York art scene for over 50 years, Marylin Minter is a pioneer of electrically graphic, photorealist paintings which take the form of some of the most criticised elements of culture – from high fashion to female desire – and explore how advertising and the the media have set the stereotypes of beauty, behaviour and sexuality…

Cropping her images, and zooming in on highly charged – at time erotic – images, Minter’s brightly saturated paintings of a tongue or high-heel are highly ambiguous in both subject and aesthetic value. From the contradictory questions around, is it beautiful? Is it abject, is it pretty or is it dirty? The work almost forms into an abstraction – with acidic tones and hazy finishes – making it unclear as to whether we are looking at a photograph or painting…

Minter doesn’t stop at traditional art: she has taken to the mainstream and made works to appear on Times Square billboards or the backdrop of a Madonna concert. She is invested in all forms of culture, assessing wherever art has become disregarded and interpreted as low culture, opening up the question even wider… 

Born in Louisiana, Minter Grew up in and attended university in Florida, and it was when studying when she embarked on her first well known photographic series of her mother – swept up in the impossible fantasy of glamour – that she was praised by the late Diane Arbus, who at the time was a visiting tutor. 

In the 70s, Minter moved to NYC. Settling in the East Village scene, she challenged how both popular media and pop art treated women as unrealistic – as subjects of comparison rather than real people, in subjects often considered “debased”. She has since exhibited across the globe, and this Spring will open a new exhibition at LGDR featuring portraits of the likes of Lizzo to Lady Gaga, Gloria Steinem to Monica Lewinsky. And I can’t wait to find out more. 

Follow us:

Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel

Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael

Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner

Music by Ben Wetherfield


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