She is starring at you, right in the eyes. There is no fear in there. There is challenge. The room is dark and empty. In her left hand, she holds a gag. Title of the artwork? Silence is Golden.
Oooh snaaaap! The tone is set, you know what you are getting into. Come on, you know you want to. No politeness, properness or correctness. All of that boringness is gone. No awkward smiles showing they have been posing for ages when they feel like having a cigarette, a big fat burger and a martini, wet please. Instead, here they are challenging Dutch portraiture in a modern way.
The medium is photography but the story is about painting, more specifically Dutch portraiture of the XVIIth century. Portraits were commissioned from notable families to honour the lineage and heritage for future generations to look up1 to or to celebrate the union of two members from renowned aristocratic families2 and sealing the event in history. Lost you here? That’s all the history you are going to get. Hey! I heard that sigh of relief! Nah, history has never been my thing either.
Carolina Mizrahi, in her new works ventures through time and interprets that heritage in a modern way. Her lens showcases powerful, kick-ass women. And now we’re back! Time is suspended and the sandglass has been reversed.
Eekeis looking at us from the corner of her eye. Of course, we are not getting all her attention. She is young, full of energy, a wild animal. You won’t tame her. She will tame you with that whip of hers. BAM! Did that hurt? Sorry, not sorry.
Goldadid not take off her hat to address you. Why get so familiar with you, stranger? In fact, she is giving you ‘The Arm’ as the American would call it. So yes, she is giving you the middle finger but in such an elegant way you didn’t even notice. I know what you are thinking. Things get softer with age. But think again! Look at Babetteand her gag, she’ll teach ya!
See, this is not about age, not really. It is about gender. Women get the final word. Not convinced? Come on, I know you like a little role play. She will not be silenced anymore. She will tell you Like a Boss. Do you know how late women got to say their opinion and be heard? That’s right, there is still mansplaining going on. So unsexy, by the way. A confident woman making her point, oh yeah baby, give me some of that!
She will learn to shine like Golden Girls. Did you know how late women got even allowed in Fine Art School? Google will tell you for your country. Still outrageously late. Let her go wild, untie her hair, smoke a cigar or two if she feels like it and gamble. Let her take your hand and guide you to uncharted waters like The Godmothers.
Her skin is gold, her hair colour varies, her pretty figure and contours leave you in awe. Where is she from, is she white, is she black, is she mixed? None of that matters. Why? Because these artworks are about women today shaking up the way our current society works. When you look at them, you look at a window showing you tomorrow. Not sure you like the sound of this? Tell your wife, your drag, your mistress, your queen in leather boots. She will know. Or they will know. Ouuh, naughty you!
Written by Mathilde Marlaud from The Public House of Art.