Feb 28, 2009

The Woman with Pomegranates

Belinda Eaton. Check this artist's work out.

I am disgusted by the colonialist (re)articulations that shape this white (British) woman's art. But also drawn to her work. Her "magic realism" paintings are more an aesthetics of Othering to me. Her exoticized (and sexualized) paintings of brown bodies and "different" looking people (especially the tattooed women series) are part and parcel of an Orientalist discourse. Which enters a highly problematic terrain for me. Having said that though, I'm still drawn to her paintings. So how is it possible that I am vomitized by the politics of these images but still appreciate the poetics??

(Decolonization of the mind. An endless process.)


Blogger glued blue glass said...

What do you mean by the poetics? Do you mean the decorative stylizing? That's what draws me in. And that is exactly why Orientatlist discourse is still so prevalent. It can be well crafted and often beautiful. Superficially, that is. It is everything but once you have the tools and perspective to see it.

1:09 PM  
Blogger pomegranate queen said...

yeah i sort of threw that term in there, i suppose to highlight the "visual poetics" of these pieces. usage of color, juxtaposition of images, visual flow, everything (technical and creative) that went into the shaping of these visual articulations.

have you seen the rest of her paintings on her website? some of the images are gorgeous. sigh. the whole thing would be completely different had it been an artist of color.

i haven't been blogging much lately but getting back into it again. how have you been? i'll be visiting your page for sure. miss your words.


3:11 PM  
Blogger glued blue glass said...

I haven't been blogging much either. I've been taking an American Studies class that is taking up most of my non-work time. I love it though. We discuss topics such as Orientalist discourse in every class! Hope you are well.

11:57 AM  
Blogger kompoStella said...

i agree that the decolonisation of the mind is an extremely long, if not endless, process. one that requires us to turn things over again and again to see them from as many angles as possible.
i'm thinking; does it make a difference that she paints most of her portraits with the same aesthetics? that everyone is on display? that these people are all placed as if on a tray of items that are sometimes erotic, sometimes exotic, sometimes overly decorative and sometimes all of it - no matter the colour of their skin?

thanks for showing me this artist, her work is very interesting - politically and poetically ;-)

10:03 AM  
Blogger Negin said...

Nice post Shadi - I really appreciate the way you expose the internal conflict and the introduction to a challenging artist. N

10:25 PM  

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