Student Work

  • Communication Design (BFA)

    Paula Volchok

    The Female Gaze

    Throughout history, self-portraiture has been used to record a period of the artist's life, simply because the self was the only subject an artist had on hand, or to make a metaphorical statement about himself or herself in the world in which he or she exists. Self-portraits give us an insight that cannot be found in historical texts or even firsthand accounts. Because female artists have been seen as illegitimate members of the art community and were instead objectified and viewed mainly through the lens of the male gaze, female self-portraiture is particularly interesting and telling of the times. My goal has been to focus on the lives of five distinctly and completely diverse (in terms of time period, content, circumstance, level of fame, medium, method, etc.) female artists and the way they have used their art to represent themselves. They are the Italian Renaissance artist Sofonisba Anguissola, the 20th-century Chinese painter Pan Yuliang, the well-known Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, the recently discovered photographer Vivian Maier, and the contemporary artist Carrie Mae Weems.