Artist Features

An Artist a Week: Marilyn Minter

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Week 51: Marilyn Minter
“Blue Streak” (2012)

Visit her website or read more about her here.

Painter and photographer Marilyn Minter is a person unafraid of the erotic, sexual, and sensual. (Consider this my warning that her works on other pages might not be safe for work.) The nature of her work is personal, perhaps controversial, and political in the sad sense that sex has been politicized in our country. Her work looks at subjects such as pornography (and whether women can empower it by reclaiming it), including at a time when there were few others looking at such topics (in the late 1980s, early 1990s.)

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Minter’s photography is done traditionally, using darkroom techniques and no photo editing or cropping. Her paintings involve a rather involved process of layering enamel on top of photography negatives on top of aluminum.

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Other subjects of her work incorporate advertising or images of glamorous women in makeup. These pieces end up surprisingly visceral and gritty, unlike the softened versions we are accustomed to in media.

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Some of Minter’s earliest works while still in school were her photos of her drug-addicted mother in black and white. They were the first glimpses of her talent for ability to combine beauty and the grit of humanity below the surface and are multilayered pieces full of emotion and sometimes pain.

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She even creates videos. Watch some of them here.

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