Visiting Artist-MeganM

Megan McGrain

3.7.12

Visiting Artist

Janine Antioni

Janine Antioni is a modern day artist with powerful work that provokes the viewer, her use of different mediums and grotesque methods really pushes her work ahead of many artists today. Janine’s work always has intention and heartfelt connections with her past experiences with relationships with her mother, or with objects themselves. 

The first piece by Janine, “ween” dealt mainly with her memories of separation from her mother. This piece was made from imprints in the wall of the gallery of her breast, her nipple, indentations of three rubber nipples, and the packaging in which the rubber nipples came in. This representation asks the viewer to contemplate the differences between the real body versus latex. The relationships we have with the body are mimicked by objects, and this piece addresses this conflict beautifully.

The next piece Janine speaks about is “Gnaw”, my personal favorite. This piece is comprised of two five-hundred pound cubes, one made of chocolate and one made of lard. Each piece was literally gnawed at and chewed on by her. She did this because she believed that carving was the most original form of sculpture, and what better a thing to chew on than chocolate? As for the lard, Janine is always pushing boundaries on our relationships with objects, and by chewing the lard, she makes the viewer more discomforted and challenged by her process and dedication.

“Loving Here” is one of Janine’s most well known pieces. Drawing back to memories of the relationship with her mother, Janine uses the brand of hair dye that her mother would use, and mopped the gallery floor with it. In this performance piece Janine mimicked the way her mother would literally mop her out of the room as a child to clean the floor. In this piece she mops the audience out of the gallery space, while she is on her hands and knees swishing her hair around.

Continuing in her use with Chocolate, Janine uses chocolate and soap to make seven busts of herself made from molds. This piece addresses the love/hate relationship that we as human beings have with out physical selves. When these seven molds were made, Janine licked the chocolate busts down and she washed the soap busts down. Understandably these pieces were called “Lick and Lather”.This process highlighted the ephemeral qualities that she was working with on the busts, contradicting the eternality of the classic marble bust.

Another piece that spoke to me was, “20:38”. This piece had many interpretations to Janine, who grew up on an island with only one cow. This photograph was of her sitting in the water trough of the cows, which happened to be a bath tub. The cow in the photograph is drinking the water, but drinks so close to Janine that is appears as if the cow is drinking from her breast. The tittle of this photograph was from the tag number in the cows ear.

The last piece I would like to discuss is “Conduit”. In this charged piece, Janine is inspired by an object for women that allows them to go to the bathroom as a man during appropriate situations, such as camping perhaps. This odd object becomes the focus of her piece, in which she makes her own in the design of a gargoyle. She then uses her object and goes to the bathroom off the roof of the Chrysler building. The parallels with this piece touch on ideas of the body being a temple, and also being architecture.

Janine is a very diverse and evolving artist. Her work is so heartfelt and powerful, from her pieces that are warm and touching, to her grotesque use of materials and processes. Regardless of the project, she is not afraid to take risk which is a beautiful thing. Every piece has a purpose to her, regardless of how big or small.

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