Degree Show Plan - Frida Kahlo

After finishing this piece today I plan on possibly framing it with an old frame, and the idea behind it is that it’s playing on the stereotypical reasoning that the expected viewer of an artwork is thought to be male.

In John Berger’s book Ways of Seeing, he suggests that “the ‘ideal’ spectator is always assumed to be male and the image of the woman is designed to flatter him” (Berger, John, 1972, pp64).

I want to challenge the thought of the female viewer instead, rightfully we should be able to become a viewer too, cultures have changed so much since this book was produced, yet not enough change has occurred.

Why Frida Kahlo? She is one of the most popular female artists of all time, and I wanted to display this – I painted the portrait over the course of 3 weeks in total, on A3 paper with oils and acrylics, instead of getting a print of the exact portrait, I wanted to recreate and establish the idea that I am a female artist too, and that my experience has been affected by the female having a limited practice of art throughout history.

The idea of the acetate – I plan to suspend two of these A1 acetate pieces down from the celing so that they are the same height as a typical female, around 5’5″ or 5’6″, then printing a computer generated image of a female with her back to the work onto the acetate. I originally wanted to print out three female viewers, but after the acetate arrived, I was fully aware that this couldn’t happen, I ordered the incorrect size, therefore I have to ‘double-up’ on the pieces to create what I want.

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