Here's a sneak peak at one of my works for an upcoming 2007 solo exhibition entitled After Picasso. Bust of a Woman, After Picasso, After Cranach, #2 (left) is a mixed media work based upon Picasso's 1958 linocut, Bust of a Woman, After Cranach (middle), which was based upon Lucas Cranach the Younger's 16th century oil painting, Portrait of a Woman (bottom).
A linocut produces a reverse image, so as you can see, Picasso's image is a reverse image of the Cranach image. Picasso must have felt unhappy with the large negative space in the Cranach work, so for his version, he added a curtain to activate the space. Clearly a good choice, framing the figure as it does.
It appears that Cranach was most interested in the ornate jewellry and costume the woman was wearing, and Picasso was also interested in this aspect of the portrait, for as you can see, he's embellished the ornamentation on his figure.
My interest is in the considerable weight of the ornamentation and works for my series express the variety of weights today's women bear in everyday life. After Picasso #2 places the figure in a niche (the niche market) and surrounds her with print media extracted from magazine ads - all vowels, representing all words - the weight in this case being the bombardment of advertising aimed at women and depicting what a happy woman looks like: she wears expensive clothes and perfumes, she has happy perfect children, she lives in a fabulous architecturally designed home on the waterfront or near the ski slopes, she drives a luxury car, and her husband buys her diamonds for every conceivable occasion, etc. An impossible reality to attain, but one that we, as women, are encouraged to strive for every time we open a newspaper or magazine, or when we turn on the television. Although this type of advertising is, of course, meant to encourage women to spend money on the advertised products and lifestyles, I believe that it also exacts a subliminal emotional toll. What do you think?