Friday, July 3, 2009

Ana Mendieta: Blood Signs and Body Tracks

Ana Mendieta was a Cuban artist known for her performance art and sculptural earth body works of the 70's. She was born in 1948 in Havana, Cuba and moved to the US when she was 13. She studied painting and intermedia art at the University of Iowa where she executed many of her early performances. She once said:
"The turning point in art was in 1972, when I realized that my paintings were not real enough for what I want the image to convey and by real I mean I wanted my images to have power, to be magic."

Her work is extremely feminist and autobiographical and was frequently about violence against the female body, sacrifice, and crime. Many of her self portraits dealt with themes on social taboo and her "Silueta" (Silhouette) series related the spiritual connection of the form of her body to land and to esoteric symbols of religions and primitive rituals.

Her life was cut short when she fell from the 34th floor of an apt building in the Greenwich Village 8 months after marrying the minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. Andre was tried and acquitted of all charges related to her death. It's just a coincidence that she and the subject of my last post both died by falling off their respectable buildings in NYC. I don't have a romantic misinterpretation of death or suicide! (I'll post Sylvia Plath poems later). I found it ironic that this last picture of the form in land with red is what a body would look like splattered on the ground after a high fall.

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