A publication about the women who
do amazing things – right in our own backyards.

Got a Girl Crush On: Erin M. Riley and her “Woven Selfies”

We’ve blogged about Erin before, but this is the first installment of GAGC Originals — content created solely for this website.

Erin’s been getting a lot of attention recently—interviewed by Alter Street and on the radio alike, about what it means to be a woman that creates weavings of photos of other women in states of undress. Is it perpetuating a patriarchal subjection of women? Is it commentary on social media and a younger generation seeking outside validation seeing as “selfie” was Oxford Dictionary’s word-of-the-year in 2013? Or is it just really embracing women as sexual beings and how they express that in a digital age? Could be a bit of all of the former, could just be visually interesting—regardless we think they’re freaking amazing!

She culls Google and Facebook for subjects for her wall-sized tapestries. The viewer is confronted with nudity, used tampons, remnants of sex, drugs, and women posing in front of a mirror with their iPhones. A modern discussion of the permanency of what happens once you upload a photo the the internet is tangibly captured in an ages-old art form. 

Check out more of Erin’s work at www.erinmriley.com!

Got a Girl Crush On: Swoon’s new art installation at the Brooklyn Museum

Run, don’t walk, to Callie’s new exhibit opening TONIGHT!

Brooklyn-based artist Swoon celebrates everyday people and explores social and environmental issues with her signature paper portraits and figurative installations. She is best known for her large, intricately-cut prints wheat pasted to industrial buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

For this exhibition, Swoon creates a site-specific installation in our rotunda gallery, transforming it into a fantastic landscape centering on a monumental sculptural tree with a constructed environment at its base, including sculpted boats and rafts, figurative prints and drawings, and cut paper foliage.

Often inspired by contemporary and historical events, Swoon engages with climate change in the installation as a response to the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy that struck the Atlantic Coast in 2012, and Doggerland, a landmass that once connected Great Britain and Europe and that was destroyed by a tsunami 8,000 years ago.

Swoon studied at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and has become active in such humanitarian activities as Konbit Shelter Project, which helps Haitians create sustainable buildings, and Transformazium in Braddock, Pennsylvania, which works with local residents to revitalize their community.

Swoon: Submerged Motherlands
April 11—August 24, 2014
https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/swoon

    **READER SUBMISSION**

    This is a total VHS girl crush collab between Caitlin Denny (director) and myself (concept & music). The song is about reclaiming a moment you lost. Whether someone took that moment in time from you, or that time has so muddled the memory that you have to reinvent it. We were heavily inspired by Daisies/ 70s & 80s feminist video & performance art (Pipilotti Rist!) and wanted to incorporate surreal Liquid Sky-ish effects. Overall, a mystery for the ladies! 

    Got a Girl Crush On: Petra Collins’ response to her Instagram account being removed

    This essay was written in response to Petra Collins’ insatgram account being removed. It was first published in Oyster and The Huffington Post

    Censorship and The Female Body

    I wasn’t shocked at the reaction I received from my t-shirt. I’m used to being told by society that I must regulate my body to fit the norm. I’m used to the fact that images of unaltered women are seen as unacceptable. I’ve taught myself to ignore it (as much as I can) and through the Internet (via sites like ROOKIE) and social media platforms (like Instagram and Facebook) I’ve been able to freely share images and start discussions about these issues. Recently I had my Instagram account deleted. I did nothing that violated the terms of use. No nudity, violence, pornography, unlawful, hateful, or infringing imagery. What I did have was an image of MY body that didn’t meet society’s standard of “femininity”. The image I posted was from the waist down wearing a bathing suit bottom in front of a sparkly backdrop. Unlike the 5,883,628 (this is how many images are tagged #bikini) bathing suit images on Instagram (see here and here) mine depicted my own unaltered state – an unshaven bikini line. Up until this moment I had obviously seen and felt the pressure to regulate my body but never thought I would literally experience it.

    TITLE

    I’m used to seeing female bodies perfected and aspects concealed in the media (i.e. in hair removal ads for women hair is NEVER shown). I wasn’t surprised when TMZ requested to interview me about my t-shirt but then cancelled because the image was “too explicit for television” – whereas during Rihanna’s abuse scandal her beaten up face was broadcasted hundreds of times. I’m used to seeing women being degraded, slut shamed, harassed for what they look like. Even the most powerful women in the world are measured by their appearance and constantly ridiculed for it. I’m used to one of the biggest media outlets calling a 9-year old girl a “cunt” (with the intention of being “satirical”). I’m used to hearing the top played songs on the radio tell me  ”I know you want it – just let me liberate you”, “You don’t know you’re beautiful, that’s what makes you beautiful”, “Put molly all in her champagne/ She ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that/ She ain’t even know it”. I’m used to seeing blockbuster movies get a rating of NC-17 because a woman is shown receiving pleasure -while movies that feature men receiving pleasure get ratings as low as PG.

    I’m used to seeing cover after cover featuring stories about a popular celebrity being fat-shamed during pregnancy. I’m used to seeing reviews of an award show performance that critiques a female singer for being “slutty” but then fails to even mention the older male behind her. I’m used to reading articles about whole towns harassing a rape victim until she’s forced to leave. I don’t want to be used to this. I don’t want to have to see the same thing constantly. I don’t want to be desensitized to what’s happening around me all.the.time. I consider myself endlessly lucky to have access to the Internet and technology. Through it I’ve found myself and have been able to join a new discourse of females young and old who strive to change the way we look and treat ourselves. I know having a social media profile removed is a 21st century privileged problem – but it is the way a lot of us live. These profiles mimic our physical selves and a lot of the time are even more important. They are ways to connect with an audience, to start discussion, and to create change. Through this removal I really felt how strong of a distrust and hate we have towards female bodies. The deletion of my account felt like a physical act, like the public coming at me with a razor, sticking their finger down my throat, forcing me to cover up, forcing me to succumb to societies image of beauty. That these very real pressures we face everyday can turn into literal censorship.

    If the Internet mimics real life then there is no doubt that real life can mimic it. That if we allow ourselves to be silenced or censored it can happen in real life too. That if an online society of people can censor your body what stops them from doing so in real life. This is already happening, you experience this everyday. When someone catcalls at you, yells “SLUT”, comments on all your Facebook photos calling you “disgusting”, tries to physically violate you, spreads private nude images of you to a mass amount of people via text, calls you ugly, tells you to change your body, tells you are not perfect, this cannot continue to be our reality. To all the young girls and women, do not let this discourage you, do not let anyone tell you what you should look like, tell you how to be, tell you that you do not own your body. Even if society tries to silence you keep on going, keep moving forward, keep creating revolutionary work, and keep this discourse alive. To those who reported me, to those who are disgusted by my body, to those who commented “horrible” or “disgusting” on an image of ME, I want you to thoughtfully dissect your own reaction to these things, please think about WHY you felt this way, WHY this image was so shocking, WHY you have no tolerance for it. Hopefully you will come to understand that it might not be you thinking these things but society telling you how to think.

    Petra Collins, 2013

    Got a Girl Crush On: Marisa Redondo’s beautiful nature-inspired watercolors

    Realllllly digging the color palate and intricate linework in these serene little nature portraits. Check out Marisa’s shop here!

    Got a Girl Crush On: Issue #3 contributor, illustrator Tuesday Bassen

    Former GAGC Issue #2 alumn and now Issue #3 cover designer—we LOVE Tuesday’s work!

    Instagram: @tuesdaybassen​

    Got a Girl Crush On: GAGC Issue #2 alumn Allison Schulnik’s breath-taking new stop-motion video “EAGER”

    Her work is always mesmerizing—worth the slow build to watch the whole damned thing.

    (via jennwitte)

    Got a Girl Crush On: Sally England’s Ultra Modern Macramé

    This is your middle school hemp necklace making hobby on steroids and your mom’s 70s craze with a streamlined twist. Holy cow dying over all of Sally’s work! Follow her on Instagram for more swoon worthy textile goodness too.

    Got a Girl Crush On: The Art of Lola Dupre
Exploded Frida Kahlo #2 by Lola Dupre.

    Got a Girl Crush On: The Art of Lola Dupre

    Exploded Frida Kahlo #2 by Lola Dupre.