Quick Hit: Feminist Artist Artemisia Gentileschi

(Source: 묵음‏ @dlklee)

Have I told you how awesome Korean Twitter is?

Trick question: I’ve raved about it many times. Who wouldn’t, when after years spent looking for quality, accessible Korean-language commentary on feminism and sexuality, now they’re inundated with it?

It feels so energizing to discover all the fresh perspectives, events, trends, and activists that I’ve been overlooking these past 17 years in Korea. And to think about where learning about them will take me (and this blog) in the future.

It also explains why I haven’t been writing much recently sorry: when you have so much material to work with, it’s difficult to settle on just one thing at a time. Other reasons include preparing my upcoming Gender in South Korea course this summer, my wife starting an exciting and glamorous new job which keeps taking her on long business trips overseas, and my angst over my blog’s 10 year anniversary coming up in a couple of weeks.

But more on that in an upcoming anniversary post. Until then, let me pass on how I stumbled upon feminist icon Artemisia Gentileschi, who’s inspired me to revisit the—for want of a better phrase—subjectivity vs. objectivity debate in K-pop, to seek out more examples of sassy Korean pin-up grrrls, and to learn more about Western art history.

Which, in my book, makes for one pretty damn awesome tweet:

Sleeping Venus (a.k.a. Venus and Cupid), by Artemisia Gentileschi.

This female artist painted a masterpiece of female nudity.

In particular, the model has no interest whatsoever in the viewer’s gaze—indeed, she seems to be ignoring it almost entirely. Instead, she has an unaffected air about her, her eyes closed and sporting an ever so slight smile with her lips turned up. Rather than simply being the object of the gaze, she’s revealed to be the master of her own body.

(Source: 묵음‏ @dlklee)

I know, right?

Any more old or newfound fans of Gentileschi out there, please say hi in the comments. Also, does anyone know of any paintings with similar motifs by different artists, especially Korean ones? Thanks!

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