Filed under: childhood, general jabbering, Sexism, videos | Tags: Crazy, Feelings, feminism, Fun, stuff .m. likes
-Z- and i discovered Glenn Barr while perusing a boutique a few years back. there was a book there with hundreds of his sketches and paintings; the gritty, moody, sometimes playful, portrayal of characters from Judy Jetson stripping to aliens to fairies, referencing classical allegory and common indiscretions in a 1960’s mod aesthetic.
you might recognize his style from his work on the backgrounds of Ren & Stimpy. REN & STIMPY!!!! that was my favorite cartoon growing up, despite some of the disgusting things that went on. (like when Ren needed the root canals… ugh.)
many of Barr’s images are of women–naked, stripping, smoking, shooting up, reclining or having sex. these subjects could easily seem exploitative and prurient, but, to me, they are women confident in their present state, which is what keeps them from seeming objectified. i see his work as a stylized observation of real-life situations and ideas–drugs, sex, lies, death, humor, despair, hope, poverty and imagination. this is not to say that bad-ass women can’t be objectified, just that he seems to revere them more than desire them. (note: the fact that the vast majority of his women are the stereotypical “ideal” woman physically is not lost on me; he’s not perfect. but i am able to overlook that because his depictions of the things women–and all people–deal with strike me as being honest. also, his 1960’s mod style more or less requires that feminine image be the only one presented. it seems that he could be making the argument that, regardless of people’s stereotypes or ideas about women, their reality is no less ruthless.)
his propensity to depict images many people hold sacred or consider taboo (nudity, death, jesus, to name a few) makes me admire his imagination and work even more, because he is unmerciful with his depictions, yet i don’t find any of them to be overtly offensive or disrespectful (granted, i don’t revere Jesus or nudity.)
his images of women especially interest me because he captures the fragility projected onto us by the sexist tendencies of our culture (in which there is some truth because of our human nature) as well as the toughness and resilience we all have to find and use at some point. with all the media images presented to us as feminine ideals (Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, that Lohan girl, etc.,) these images inspire me to reject those vapid standards in favor of finding my own voice, enduring my own struggles and ultimately doing what makes me happy and makes me proud of where i am.
if you like his stuff, check out his web site here.
and, i haven’t forgotten my fellow Ren & Stimpy fans. here is the Log commercial! if you want more stuff from the show, there’s Muddy Mudskipper, Powdered Toast Man and the Happy Happy Joy Joy song (“i’ll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!”) all over the place on YouTube. [sigh…] what did people DO before YouTube?
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