Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thoughts on Being a Feminist Artist

There have been many times when I have been described as a feminist artist. Make no mistake, I do create a lot of feminist work. Much of my work responds to identity issues, taboos and inequalities, and so it fits. However, I don't see myself solely in that manner.

I am a feminist artist - sometimes. But I wear many hats. I am also a wife, daughter, gamer, environmentalist, humanitarian, animal rights advocate, plein air painter... All of these things conjure up ideas of who I am and what kind of person that makes me. It's not that I'm not a feminist and it's not that I'm not an artist, but I really don't like being labeled or "neatly packaged" in any way. Maybe this sentiment is even stronger now having recently finished my Bitch performance in which I was shut up in a dog crate. But I don't like to be stereotyped and I try not to stereotype others to the best of my ability, though I know that I still may make gross assumptions and generalizations for all that I try not to.

Above all else, I try to be true to myself while not limiting myself to playing solely into any given role, although if I'm having a low self-esteem day I may play up or dwell on some aspect of my being (or more likely just shy away from social situations entirely). What is most important to me isn't identifying with any particular identity but having the freedom to be and explore who I myself am. I much prefer it when people are genuine with me by being true to themselves as opposed to trying to define me and play to that idea of who I am.

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