Exquisite Arts Magazine Vol 7: Fall Issue- Oct/2017 | Page 24
Art is a subjective form of expression. Everyone reading this magazine knows that and knows that art comes in
all colours, shapes, sizes forms and the like. Over the course of the last hundred years or so, we have seen art
begin to jump off the paper and into our streets in various forms. Visual art and performance art have begun to
almost develop lives of their own and the artists who own these specific types have started to broadcast their
art in curious, strange but bold ways to bring to light the messages they want to share.
Once considered, like many things, to be an “Old Boy’s Club”, art has over the last century began to take hold
in the hands of women who have been taking it to dizzying new highs when they pair their strong messages
with the power of feminism. Jolted by the hippie movement of the 60s, female performance and visual artists
have taken on these new assignments with gusto, being boldly in your face and doing things that were never
done before, especially by women.
So who are some of these bold, brave women who have brought us some of the most subversive, gripping art of
today? Here are a handful whose work is more than worth checking out.
Eve Ensler, Writing
Eve Ensler is best known for her extremely controversial work, The Vagina Monologues
which was produced in 1996 at the HERE Arts Centre in New York City. In those days
talking so candidly about women’s issues such as sexual assault, menstruation, sex
work, genital mutilation and more were seen as things that just weren’t talked about as
candidly as this play does. The play explores these themes and more in monologues
run together episodically, with women from various backgrounds explaining their own
issues and experiences of having had to deal with negativity surrounding the fact that
they were born as women.
Despite the fact that for the time, Ensler’s extremely powerful play received widespread
criticism from not just male but also female critics, the play has raised awareness of
various issues experienced by women throughout the world and has even started the
global non-profit movement, V-Day which helps to raise awareness and money for
women and girls in violent situations around the world that need assistance. Despite
the mixed reviews and inherent good that has come from such a powerful piece at a time when these things
were still being relatively swept under the rug, The Vagina Monologues now receives criticism over its clear lack
of inclusiveness regarding transgendered women with some believing that the female gender now encompasses