Renegade Maiden Voyages

Maiden is a word that is used to christen the first attempt of it’s kind. In the Art World, the goal of the artist could be a variety of things, but it ultimately comes down to the art of provoking and to be the first to do it with their style.

Michael Zichy (Hungarian artist, 1827 - 1906) 1878

Embroidery is an art form that that evokes the past view of womanhood. It’s not to say that women don’t embroider things today, but if you consider what little women could do with their time or even remotely for money – embroidery was a bastion of femininity and all things considered dainty.Women don’t have to really do embroidery by hand these days because they have machines to do that for them. Now, as a disclaimer, I do realize that there are some men that do embroidery. However, it is an area of artistry that has largely been associated to women not men.

But I digress, I am not venturing into writing about the link, history, or meaning of Embroidery in relation to womanhood but instead about the nature of “art” itself. Is there a limit or line that should not be crossed in the creation and display of “art?”

Here are two examples of very interesting uses of embroidery:

Link: Ana Teresa Barboza


Link: Eliza Bennett

I have to be frank. A lot of modern art does not hold much appeal to me because of it’s inability to capture my attention and evoke a thought. I am not impressed with a toilet seat stapled to the door or a live naked person taking a poop in a toilet. I apologize to those who do like his work but I get not feeling looking at a Jackson Pollack painting. It’s just all random paint slinging to a canvas.


However, the recent examples of embroidery art are mesmerizing, especially Eliza Bennett’s tattoo by embroidery. I would never do that to myself, and in comparison to the work of other modern artists, it doesn’t make me say, “How Far Is Too Far?”

Why is Eliza Bennett’s embroidered tattoo more compelling and less repugnant than say Adel Abdessemed brutal exhibition of the death of animals? It is more compelling because it actually does make you think about the pain of a such handywork and the pigeonholing of woman in society. Bennett visits the hardship on herself and not others (i.e. using others for art) unlike Adel Abdessemed’s “Don’t Trust Me,” which included video clips of six animals being killed with a sledgehammer. I am sorry..just because animals are going to a slaughterhouse does not justify such cruelty. Cruelty isn’t art and it definitely isn’t like journalism and exposing the issues of the world. It’s murder. There is a fine line between exploitation and whistle blowing.

You be the judge? How far is too far when it comes to art?


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