Venus 2011

Steven Hansen's avatar Steven Hansen

This work is about the determining power of the male gaze to define beauty and gender roles in Western Civilization. The silhouette of the work is taken from William-Adolphe Bouguereau's, "The Birth of Venus" (1879). Other art history references include a renaissance Eve and a Botticelli Venus. Added to the mix are parts of "B" movie posters from the 1940's and 1950's and logos for feminine products from "Playtex", and "Maidenform". Role models for beauty include logos for "Barbie", and "St. Pauli Girl". These feminine images, and products are supported by a decidedly male base with strong images of muscle and work, and references to Vulcan, Atlas, and Brawny. The work is entirely created from hand-built, and hand-glazed ceramic. The use of a traditionally "craft" medium in this context is another layer in the theme of marginalization. This is a new work made of ceramics, that looks like an old work made from scrap metal. It is sophisticated, yet reads like a piece of outsider art.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 2
  • Medium: Ceramic
  • Width: 2
  • Year created: 2011
  • Height: 6