Hannah Wilke HANNAH WILKE-ART IN THE LANDSCAPE | TYLER SCHOOL OF ART

FLAUNT May 14, 2019

When asked why she used bubblegum to represent labias, the late feminist artist Hannah Wilke answered with a response as iconic as her work:

“I chose gum because it’s the perfect metaphor for the American woman—chew her up, get what you want out of her, throw her out and pop in a new piece.”

Innovative throughout her life, Wilke is considered the first feminist artist to use vaginal imagery in her work. Her groundbreaking labias made of everything from bubblegum, kneaded erasers, lint, and ceramics were stuck onto her body, in flowers, on postcards, and in landscapes, subverting phallocentric culture and turning penis envy into what Wilke termed “Venus envy.”

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