Artemisia Gentileschi, Her paintings were influenced by bad memories

Artemisia Gentileschi

(July 8, 1593 – c. 1656)

Her paintings were influenced by bad memories

Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome on 8 July 1593, the eldest child of the Tuscan painter Orazio Gentileschi. Artemisia was introduced to painting in her father’s workshop, showing much more talent than her brothers, who worked alongside her. She learned drawing, how to mix color, and how to paint. Since her father’s style took inspiration from Caravaggio during that period, her style was just as heavily influenced in turn. Her approach to subject matter was different from her father’s, however, as her paintings are highly naturalistic, where Orazio’s are idealized. Orazio was a great encouragement to his daughter since, during the seventeenth century, women were considered lacking the intelligence to work. At the same time, Artemisia had to resist the “traditional attitude and psychological submission to this brainwashing and jealousy of her obvious talent” *. By doing so, she gained great respect and recognition for her work.
*Bissell, Ward R. Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art: Critical Reading and Catalogue Raisonne. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999.

Artemisia_Gentileschi_-_Self-Portrait_as_a_Lute_Player

 Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, 1615–1617, Artemisia Gentileschi
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Susanna and the Elders, her first work, 1610, Artemisia Gentileschi
The first work of the young seventeen-year-old Artemisia was the Susanna e i Vecchioni (Susanna and the Elders) (1610, Schönborn collection in Pommersfelden). At the time, some influenced by the prevailing misconceptions, suspected that she was helped by her father. The painting shows how Artemisia assimilated the realism of Caravaggio without being indifferent to the language of the Bologna school, which had Annibale Carracci among its major artists. It is one of the few paintings on the theme of Susanna showing the sexual accosting by the two Elders as a traumatic event.
                                             캡처Judith Slaying Holofernes, 1611–1612, Artemisia Gentileschi/Judith Slaying Holofernes,1614–1620, Artemisia Gentileschi
In 1611, her father was working with Agostino Tassi to decorate the vaults of Casino della Rose inside the Pallavicini Rospigliosi Palace in Rome, so Orazio hired the painter to tutor his daughter privately. During this tutelage, Tassi raped Artemisia. Another man, Cosimo Quorlis, was also involved. After the initial rape, Artemisia continued to have sexual relations with Tassi, with the expectation that they were going to be married and with the hope to restore her dignity and her future. Tassi reneged on his promise to marry Artemisia. Nine months after the event, when he learnt that Artemisia and Tassi were not going to be married, Orazio pressed charges against Tassi. Orazio also claimed that Tassi stole a painting of Judith from the Gentileschi household. The major issue of this trial was the fact that Tassi had taken Artemisia’s virginity. If Artemisia had not been a virgin before Tassi raped her, the Gentileschis would not have been able to press charges. During the ensuing seven-month trial, it was discovered that Tassi had planned to murder his wife, had enjoined in adultery with his sister-in-law, and planned to steal some of Orazio’s paintings. During the trial, Artemisia was subjected to a gynecological examination and torture using thumbscrews to verify her testimony. At the end of the trial Tassi was sentenced to imprisonment for one year, although he never served the time. The trial influenced the feminist view of Artemisia Gentileschi during the late twentieth century.
* Thumbscrew (torture); A victim’s thumbs or fingers were placed in the vice and slowly crushed. The thumbscrew was also applied to crush prisoners’ big toes. The crushing bars were sometimes lined with sharp metal points to puncture the thumbs and inflict greater pain in the nail beds. Larger, heavier devices based on the same design principle were applied to crush feet and ears.
                                               캡처Judith I, 1901, Gustav Klimt/Judith Beheading Holofernes 1598–1599, Michelangelo da Caravaggio
This event became her anger and she expressed the anger in her paintings. Also, in her pictures which represent *Judith Beheading Holofernes, She drew all faces of Judith as hers face and Holofernes are Tassi on her paintings. Unlike other ‘Judith Beheading Holofernes’, Judith looks like a strong woman and she has a tenacious grip. Usually, Judith had been expressed as a weak and fascinating woman in those days. For example, Gustav Klimt drew Judith as a fascinating femme fatale. Also, Michelangelo da Caravaggio drew Judith as a weak and delicate woman.
*The book of Judith: The Book of Judith has a tragic setting that appealed to Jewish patriots and it warned of the urgency of adhering to Mosaic law, generally speaking, but what accounted for its enduring appeal was the drama of its narrative. The story revolves around Judith, a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, with whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Though she is courted by many, Judith remains unmarried for the rest of her life.
That she was a woman painting in the seventeenth century and that she was raped and participated in prosecuting the rapist, long overshadowed her achievements as an artist. For many years she was regarded as a curiosity. Today she is regarded as one of the most progressive and expressionist painters of her generation.

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Judith and her Maidservant, 1613–1614, Artemisia Gentileschi
Because Artemisia returned again and again to violent subject matter such as Judith and Holofernes, a repressed-vengeance theory has been postulated. Some art historians suggest however, that she was shrewdly taking advantage of her fame from the rape trial to cater to a niche market in sexually charged, female-dominant art for male patrons.

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Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura), 1638-1639, Artemisia Gentileschi
The most recent critic, starting from the difficult reconstruction of the entire catalogue of the Gentileschi, tried to give a less reductive reading of the career of Artemisia, placing it more accurately in the context of the different artistic environments in which the painter actively participated. A reading such as this restores Artemisia as an artist who fought with determination—using the weapon of personality and of the artistic qualities—against the prejudices expressed against women painters; being able to introduce herself productively in the circle of the most respected painters of her time, embracing a series of pictorial genres that probably were more ample and varied than her paintings suggest.
Source:
http://terms.naver.com/entry.nhn?docId=1148522&cid=40942&categoryId=34395
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_Gentileschi#Florentine_period_.281614.E2.80.931620.29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravaggio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumbscrew_(torture)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Judith
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Interview / Valérie Telesca

My creations reveal my aesthetic emotions as well as my inner perpetual questioning about human identity, throughout existential hurts and the process of constant rebirth.

– Valérie Telesca

Packet8

Packet8

Born in Lille, France, Valérie Telesca lives and works in France. Her plastic project focuses on the idea of packaging in its allegorical meaning of “social ornament”, but more specifically revolves around its paradoxes. Interpreted in its primary sign origin, this packaging becomes alternately the cocoon announcing the birth, the plastic ecstasy of a metamorphosis, or a lure capable of modifying the identity by a change of shape. In her work of art, the matters are exploited as substances which are strongly metamorphic or, on the contrary, exposed in a starkness which makes them sacred.

After having worked for a long time on the colour considered as a second skin which socializes the matter, the artist anchors her approach in an identity dimension : That of the nature of things and of their metamorphosis, in its exuberance and its fragility.

Valérie Telesca expresses herself in the very matter of her object stemming from the packaging of which she modifies the resistance.Contrary to a claim of ephemeral art, her works of art fall within the dynamics of a time which makes them accomplish the challenge of lasting.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Born in France in 1968, I have Italian origins. First a photographer, then a painter, I have worked for a long time on the colour considered as a second skin which socializes the matter. My plastic project now focuses on materials as strongly metamorphic substances.

I was not born an artist. In fact, my calling came quite late and unexpectedly. I have found my own techniques through work and experimentation. Every artist is an alchemist researcher…

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?

In my artistic career, photography was a first stage. It taught me a certain sensibility as well as a perception of measures. It also gave me a kind of “adjustment” of my vision to the world: its shapes and its colours.
My approach articulates around the concept of “packaging”, in its allegorical dimension, as a social finery distorting the nature of things. My questioning concerns its limits and its contradictions, its capacity to hide, to transform or to reveal the internal material. This came throughout my journeys abroad, observing people…

Package

Package

Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite?

All my “series” correspond to states of my life. I have a preference for the series ” Nude ” which represents what it would remain, once the skin removed. The envelope merges with the internal matter, naked. Reign of the no color or the absolute, ostentatious and assumed color, freed from the codes of the sociability. This series looks like me a little.

Nude

Nude

What do you think the artist is in society?

That of raising questions in sharing a sensitive perception of the world  that we all compose. Experimentation is a kind of resistance, a resilience. To overtake the limits, open new doors, wonder about what is beyond the experience, to refuse the comfort for a risk which is maybe worth it. The art is for me a vehicle for communication in interacting with the others who express their own emotions and comment on mine. We learn a lot from each other..

What’s the best thing about being a woman artist?

…Would you ask a man what’s the best thing about being a male artist…?

What is the most difficult part of being a female artist?

To be obliged to define myself as a “female” artist…!

In fact, I was the co-founder and of an association of women. The aim was to help women in developing their professional independent activity, considering that women have more difficulty in dealing with their career as they have to deal with many other tasks.

How do you manage in such a situation?

We have to surpass ourselves…

Did you ever feel like giving up?

Everyday! Then everyday makes me understand that art IS my life…You don’t decide to do art. Art snatches you up.

Installation

Installation

How do you look at your previous pieces?

They are part of my process. I consider them a step that made me grow up.

How does your cultural background affect your work?

For me, the “matter adventure” is first of all a perception of the world, a propensity to look beyond the surface, open the dialog which opens the field of the possible.

I am native from a South where the ground, both feeder and engulfing, shapes the aesthetics of the landscape and there the matter dresses an identity dimension. That of the nature of things. That of the vital metamorphosis.

My creations reveal my aesthetic emotions as well as my inner perpetual questioning about human identity, throughout existential hurts and the process of constant rebirth.

Cocoons

Cocoons

What is your dream project?

A monumental installation in the beautiful, exceptional landscape of Basilicata, in Italy, My homeland.

What is up and coming for you, as projects?

I am working on a project with two other Italian artists about the concept of Chrysalis.
I should expose at the Marrakech contemporary museum, then in Trieste (Italy) in 2014.

What do you want to do next?

Sculpture !

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Visit Valérie’s website and Women Artists of the World!

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Presented by International Foundation for Women Artists

Interview / Lauren Matsumoto

Black and White Cookie, Gouache and collage on paper, 22 x 30 in, 2011

Black and White Cookie, Gouache and collage on paper, 22 x 30 in, 2011

Although born in New York of Scandinavian heritage, Lauren Matsumoto has lived in France, Italy, Mexico, Florida, New York and frequently travels abroad. She has participated in international group exhibitions on three continents, including shows at the ArtComplex Gallery in Tokyo and Artists Space in New York. Her work has appeared in notable publications such as Studio Visit magazine and Graphics. She earned an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and a BA from Yale. She currently lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Nature and how we relate to it is the central theme of my work. Fantasy, cultural appropriation, sexuality and transformation are also a part of my subject. Using a hybrid form of painting, drawing and collage, my work depicts women and objects from the industrial era interacting with nature.

– Lauren Matsumoto’s statement from her website here

Here’s an exclusive interview with Lauren ;D

Lauren Matsumoto

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you and what do you do? What got you interested in art?

My artwork is a fusion of drawing, painting and collage. I’m interested in pushing the boundaries of these three mediums, which are normally kept separate as if they somehow violate or dilute each other. I’m not sure why this has been the prevailing view, considering Rauschenberg and others have been experimenting with combining all three mediums since the early 1960s. It’s nothing new.

To answer your second question, I was interested in art at quite a young age. I’ve been painting with professional intent since I was 14 years old. As a teenager, walking the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum in New York inspired my pursuit of art as a career.

Summer Reverie, Acrylic and paper on panel, 16 x 20 in, 2012

Summer Reverie, Acrylic and paper on panel, 16 x 20 in, 2012

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Nature is my biggest inspiration. In particular, the busy-ness of birds as a metaphor for human activity, the fine lines on leaves, and light falling on botanicals really interest me.

Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite?
Desert Bride, 2012, is my current favorite.

Could you tell us more details about Desert Bride?
This piece is about a woman who is not a bride in a traditional sense, but is married through her relationship with the incredible beauty of the desert landscape around her. Florals, insects and birds are lead characters in her story. Maybe she is telling them something we do not know. She appears to have driven to a remote location by herself, where technology and civilization are still present in the distance, but do not intrude or dominate her story.

Desert Bride, Acrylic and paper on canvas, 36 x 48 in, 2012

Desert Bride, Acrylic and paper on canvas, 36 x 48 in, 2012

How do you look at your previous pieces?

My entire body of work is an ongoing experiment. Previous works are all stepping stones that take me to a new place.

How does your cultural background affect/inspire your work?
My background is a fairly common combination of Scandinavian-Northern European and American cultures. What is unique to me and my work, however, is that with Scandinavian baggage, I married into a Japanese-Mexican family. Both those countries have profoundly influenced my artwork in different ways. I adore the story-telling found in the work of Mexican artists such as Kahlo and Rivera. I appreciate the crisp design qualities present in the entire history of Japanese art from its beginnings through today.

 Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin
/Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
/Sakai Hoitsu, Birds and Flowers of the Twelve Months

Space Junk, Acrylic and paper on canvas, 36 x 48 in, 2012

Space Junk, Acrylic and paper on canvas, 36 x 48 in, 2012

What do you think is the role of an artist in society?

The artist helps society by offering an alternative point of view. Art is a way of seeing: it is a respite from the frenetic, uncontrollable pace of our culture today.

Did you ever feel like giving up? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given at that time? What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
I don’t ever feel like giving up, so I’m not sure how to advise aspiring artists on finding inspiration. But good advice is always welcome. A professor once told one of my classes to always pay close attention to your edges – between shapes as well as the edges of the piece itself. That advice has served me well many times.

What’s the best thing about being a woman artist?
The best part about being a female artist is the freedom to explore any subject without being labeled “too effeminate.”

 Pet, Gouache and collage on paper, 20 x 15 in, 2011

Pet, Gouache and collage on paper, 20 x 15 in, 2011

What is the most difficult part of being a female artist?
The worst part about being a female artist is juggling a lot of responsibilities outside work.

How do you manage in such a situation?
Determination and good organizational skills are essential.

Bird Radio, Mixed Media, 36 x 48 in, 2011

Bird Radio, Mixed Media, 36 x 48 in, 2011

What is up and coming for you, as projects?
I’m currently working on a series of works on panel. Wood panel is a new type of support that works really well with the collage and hand-drawn elements I often incorporate into my paintings.

What do you want to do next?
The new body of work I’m developing is carefully orchestrated for a solo show. I’m hoping that is in the cards in the near future.

What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to spend an entire month living in a bird sanctuary, painting and studying birds.

You can also check her profile on our WAW website ;)