A little thing on Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago is a feminist artist, whose work, although initially rejected, pushed the art world to accept feminism and has defined feminist art to this day. 

Judy Chicago was born in 1939 in Chicago (initially with the last name Cohen). She was raised in a wealthy Jewish family who supported her career in the arts, this support allowed her to begin pursuing art from the age of 5. As a result of this early start, each of Chicago’s later pieces is defined by her adept artist skills and technical feats. Being a woman in the art world hegemonized by men pushed her towards her radicalized artwork. In 1965, Chicago released a modern art piece of a series of rainbow beams leaning against a wall, when art critic Walter Hopps saw the piece he largely ignored it and talked to the other male artists in the room. Years after, Chicago and Hopps met again and he told her, that his ignorance was a result of surprise at the high level of her work. Sexism from the world and critics was and continues to be, the major inspiration for her work. The most famous of these pieces is “The Dinner Party” 

In 1979 Chicago revealed an enormous project that covered over 1,100 square feet and marks her most influential piece. The piece consisted of a tile floor, three 48-foot-long tables which created the perimeter, and 39 ceramic plates which gave a spot to an influential woman in history. This piece required years of work to complete and the help of over 400 volunteers. In order to complete this feat, Chicago and her team threw, handbuilt, slab built, and slip-cast the pieces. They also employed painting, sewing, and building skills. Inscribed on the tile floor were the names of 999 influential women whose names were largely unknown or forgotten. The piece is both a respectful homage to the powerful women who came before her and a satirical understanding of the nonsensical notion of man’s power. Each of the 39 plates took a vulvaic form, this, although initially thought of as pornographic and unnecessary, defined the piece as a straightforward and “audacious” piece of art that holds a firm grip on what it means to be a feminist in art. The New York Times described the piece in 2018 writing on Judy Chicago as “a repository of women’s history” and remarked on the assumed humor of the piece had it been released in the modern world: “The audacity of “The Dinner Party,” its rhetorical energy, its humor (the vulva plates are, among other things, a play on what it might be like if women took as much pride in their anatomy as men did)”. 

Despite its initial rejection from the art world Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” has been tremendously influential to art in its category and marked the first of its kind of feminist art piece. Chicago trailblazed as a leader in the largely male art world of the time and continued to this day as a radical artist and strong feminist. “The Dinner Party” is now a permanent exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and continues to inspire the feminist movement and female artists and non-artist alike. Judy Chicago and “The Dinner Party” remain the unambiguous “Godmother” of feminism in the arts. 

Pc: New York Times

little things

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pc: me

I have so much love for little aspects of life. I love to water my plants. I love to pet my cat because of how loud her purr is. I love to sit on the kitchen counters while dinner is being made, the smell of food circulating the air. I love to imagine those smells as colors floating around me and illuminating the warmth that fills the kitchen. I love it when people make me laugh, It feels like I’m at a loss of breath, which is somehow the best feeling in the world. I love to take the most skin-curdling, brain-melting shower right before bed. I love to hug people goodbye, I imagine the smile on my face the next time I get to see them. I love the song “a day in the life” by the Beatles. I love the book Daisy Jones And The Six. I love to lay on the floor because the hardness feels like an anchor when my mind starts to spin. I love to go to the beach because the sand sticks to my skin. I love to wash the day off of my tired face. I love to smell candles but not light them because I don’t want them to go away too fast. I love white daisy’s in a mason jar. I love to propagate vines. I love to make eye contact with people and let them break it. I love to play with little kids. I love to be at home with my family. I love to watch Formula 1 races. I love to swim and ride my bike at night. I love my mom and dad. And even though he doesn’t think so, I really love Vaughn.

(Excerpt from a Common App essay draft)

I surf with more passion than I’ve ever felt before, but I’d certainly not consider myself good. It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever encountered, walls of water like moving mountains, foamy white water like a powerful avalanche, a board which goes from your greatest ally to greatest enemy the moment it is freed from your hands and feet. Is the feeling of a wave worth the pain of falling? Often, yeah it is, small waves, no biggie, a couple seconds of being underwater (burr), and then you paddle back out and try again. But when the waves become giants and the board a brute force weapon, that fall feels like life or death. I remember going out on a day with waves far beyond my skill set, Goliath and Polyphemus in the flesh. Before even paddling for a wave a set came in, the first wave blocked the sun as it groaned past me, the second feathered as I crested its peak desperately paddling to the outside, and the third I was not so lucky. The avalanche hit me, immediately tearing the board from my hands, the wave now groaning on top of me thrashing my body like a ragdoll in a washing machine. My last thought was “I really don’t want to die”,  and then, it was over. The wave passed and adrenaline pulled out beyond the impact zone. So what pushes me to surf in water like this, maybe I just like the adrenaline but I think it’s because putting myself in places beyond my skill set and comfort, where I am deeply imperfect, has shaped who I am. 

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pc: me

NOW

Honestly, I don’t know if I like Charles Bukowski but I love his work. I first discovered his poetry a year ago and I was just smitten with his spot-on/blunt observations of life. It’s funny though because he has this ‘don’t try too hard kind of attitude that I really don’t empathize with and he’s also kind of gross and offensive, yet I’m totally enamored with his humor and wit.

I can’t tell you what my ‘favorite’ poem by him is, because that changes all the time. They’re consistently clever and I could read his work all day. I thought of his poem “NOW” though, while I was thinking of what to even write today.

NOW

I sit here on the 2nd floor

hunched over in yellow

pajamas

still pretending to be

a writer.

some damned gall,

at 71,

my brain cells eaten

away by

life.

rows of books

behind me,

I scratch my thinning

hair

and search for the

word.

Obviously, this is about writer’s block, and yeah that just resonated with me while I was thinking of what to even write this afternoon.

If you want to laugh, I recommend his poem “Flophouse”, if you want to be inspired, I recommend “Roll the Dice” or “How is your Heart”, and if you want to think, I would read “The Genius of the Crowd” or “Dinosauria, We.” Also, all the poems he wrote about his cats are fantastic.

PC: https://www.thegreatcat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Bukowski-and-Black-Cat.jpg

Poetry Pt. I

So far, these past couple of weeks, I’ve been publishing very surface-level (and frankly, boring) writing. One day, I wrote a poem with the intent of posting it, but quickly decided against the idea. There is something so raw, and so vulnerable about poetry, that to share a piece can be both a creative outlet and an absolutely terrifying experience. But no one really reads these anyways, so I might as well.

PC: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/96/5a/32/965a32cd4f0928ec10f3fa4847730893.jpg

TW: Eating disorder/self-harm. A couple years ago, my best friend was suffering from a severe eating disorder and almost died. This was the inspiration for a poem:

the bathroom mirror speaks

It tells her she is a slut, to “cover-up.”

or she is a prude, to “show more skin.”

It tells her, with makeup, she’s “trying too hard,”

or without, she should “make an effort.”

It tells her she is too big, too curvy, too small, too flat

– she is too much, not enough

It tells her lies and truth

and truth and lies

until she cannot tell one from the other.

instead of math homework, she’s adding up calories,

instead of breakfast, she’s chewing on the cuticles of her thumbnails,

instead of sleeping, her bedroom is a 24-hour gym,

instead of showering, she’s drying her tears,

instead of living, she just is.

the sight of her reflection in the mirror is enough to make her shatter

and when the voices overwhelm her own,

she drapes a cloth over the frame, gagging their words.

but It claws and crawls its way out from the glass

slithers into her ears and slides down her throat,

spilling into the cavity of her diaphragm.

now the words on the bathroom mirror are her own.

who decided her skin was a sin?

who indicted her bones a cage?

who determined her flesh as a source of release?

you. 

you taught the bathroom mirror to speak.

Poppi The Opossum

So there’s this baby opossum named Poppi who I’m obsessed with. She was rescued by @opossumsinspire on Instagram and she’s the most perfect little creature that ever existed. I’ll just show you her. You’ll understand.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

This picture was the first one Poppi posted. It’s my screensaver. Sometimes I just stare at this picture. I love her bulging eyes and her limp toes. She looks huge here but she’s actually tiny. You’ll see it in the next picture.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

Every joey needs a mama’s back to ride on. Even if it’s not a typical opossum mom. I love how scruffy she is.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

Poppi’s tail features in this photo. Her little black birthmark on it is adorable. I love her so much.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

One word: TEETH. I can’t.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

She’s literally perfect. Look at those toes. Look at that face.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

Poppi is the best at Uno. That’s the face of someone who has three +4 cards in her hand.

Now that you’ve got Poppi fever, my work is done. Go check out @opossumsinspire on Instagram.

comfort

Today it was 86 degrees. This weather is so gorgeous it makes me sick. When I wake up and the sun is shining through my window, I want nothing more than to let my bed swallow me whole until nine pm the same day. I think that it’s so ironic how such a beautiful day could make me want to hide in my room for so long. When I sit in class and look out the window as the heat ripples across the ground, I want to cry and bang my head against the desk. I. Hate. It. I like to put in my left airpod and listen to the same playlist over and over again all day. It mainly consists of Dream, Ivory, Oscar Lang, Deftones, The Walters, and Cocteau Twins. If you were to look it up, it sounds like the feeling of taking a bath at three in the morning in the dark, because that is my comfort. I love to be alone. But not in a sad, I’m so depressed because my life is just the hardest thing in the world kind of way. I like it because it reminds me that every day is the same, and I hate that feeling but in a weird way I love to feel the things that I hate. I love routines. I love when it’s cold outside but I’m wearing two shirts and a hoodie. When you wake up and the sky is grey, you can’t see 50 feet in front of you because of the haze. I love to walk alone at school and wait for the day to end. It’s the same feeling every day that I crave. I love to hate being sad.

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pc: me

Henry Wadsworth Was Wrong

Today, the first drops of rain after months of blistering heat graced Ojai for just one minute. It was the best minute of that day. I love rain. I could just watch and listen to it forever. I love when the sky clouds up and makes everything prettier. Today, the beautiful grey sky brought out the green in the mountains surrounding OVS. It all just looked so fresh and not regular old California. Everything looks better in the rain.

I love the feeling of raindrops on my head, I love watching them out the window, I love the sound of wind and thunder, and I even love the smell of wet asphalt. At night, everything is just incredible- city lights upside-down on shiny streets, and the comforting sound of heavy downpours making you sleepy. Henry Wadsworth was totally wrong about rainy days being “dark and dreary” if he loved sunny days so much he should’ve lived in California. Anyway the rain today, despite being accompanied by 95-degree temperatures and its briefness, is welcomed by me.

PC: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/8a/3d/b4/8a3db404aa48154cd8d1f70e2af41a6f.jpg

Some of my Favorite Things Recently

I’ve started a new school, which, of course, is a challenging transition. It’s easy in times like these to get caught up in anxiety and needless worry, so I find it helpful to redirect my focus to the positive aspects of my life right now. Whether life-changing or minuscule, there is no shortage of things that I LOVE.

  1. Old books: The way the weathered pages feel between my fingers, the smell, the inky typeface.
  2. Pina colada smoothies: I seriously think I would live on these if I could – especially in 100-degree weather.
  3. Sleeping: There’s something so comforting about getting in bed with the AC on so I can snuggle up between the duvet cover and clean sheets.
  4. Shooting stars: I saw one the other day and it was magical.
  5. The sea: The floating, bobbing over waves and swimming with all the fish beneath me.
  6. Gilmore Girls: I will always aspire to be a Rory Gilmore.
  7. Sushi: What I would do for a spicy tuna, avocado roll, or a Lemon Flush special from Hakane…
pc: daily collegian

More Opossums

Look at these opossums.

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He’s a baby. Shut up, he doesn’t need anyone’s opinions.

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He’s so thicc. Look at that face. Give him your soul or else.

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Happy late Mother’s Day. You’ll never be cuter than this mom. She’s perfect.

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Teefs. That’s all.

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The tiny toes and weird worm tail? Perfection.

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I have to live knowing I’ll never be as happy as this opossum. Shoot me.

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He’s so concerned over the oranges being spilled… I’m going to cry.

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No one will ever love me as much as I love this opossum. Nothing even matters.

Sorry for getting emo on y’all. Opossums give me so many emotions.