Janine Antoni

Morgan Kairey

4/ 29/ 12

Visiting Artist

Visiting Artist: Janine Antoni

            On March 6th, 2012, Janine Antoni visited Boulder. Antoni is from the Bahamas and is a contemporary artist.  Her work is all about process and she uses her body for most of her art.  Antoni’s process and hands-on approach to creating her art has made her recognized and famous.

In her work Gnaw (1992), Antoni carved two 600-pound cubes, one made of chocolate and one made of lard, by eating/chewing them.  With the chewed up pieces, she created chocolate boxes and lipstick tubes.  The reasoning behind this work is that items like chocolate or lipstick “gnaw” at us and how we are driven by what they do to us.

Another performance piece that included chocolate was Lick and Lather.  This took place in Venice.  She created busts of herself out of chocolate and soap.  Instead of gnawing at these, she distorted them by licking one and washing herself with the other.  The process of using her body to eliminate herself in a sculpture was the key reasoning for this piece.

In Loving Care (1992), Janine Antoni uses her hair ass a paintbrush and hair dye as her paint.  After she dipped her hair in a bucket of dye, she mopped the gallery floor on her hands and knees and eventually pushed the viewers out of the gallery.  Antoni explained that she did this in response to the abstract expressionist movement.

In If I Die Before I Wake from 2004, she included her mother in the process.  It is an impression of her and her mother’s hand pressed together.  Antoni’s hands and her mothers are very different because of the aging that has taken place.  It shows how connected they are even if the age difference is significant.  This piece was really eye opening to me and it was one of my favorites that she showed.

I am not a huge fan of performance art but I really enjoyed her work.  I enjoyed the stories behind her work and the reasoning of how she came up with the process of it all.  Her work is extremely thought out and it exudes strength, power, and a lot of the time motherhood.  I also like that her work isn’t always permanent.  I am excited to see what she does in the future and I will definitely be following her career after seeing her speak.

One Response

  1. You did a good job of describing several different pieces, however I would have liked if you had gone into more detail. I also think that you could have included more about what you thought of each piece and what you thought of her work as a whole. You did some of that, but a deeper analysis would have been nice.

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