The Black Sheep Feminists of the 60s and 70s

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 The Black Sheep Feminists of the 60's and 70's

5 FEMALE ARTISTS FROM 60’S AND 70’S WHO PAINT ABOUT SEX AND DON’T GIVE A F***

These are the women artists who were not part of the mainstream feminist movement of the 60’s and 70’s. Those black sheep feminists wanted to talk about the womb, and the vulva, and childbirth, and flowers, which, don’t get me wrong, are important to discuss. HOWEVER. These badass bitches wanted to talk about something else entirely: sex. And only now, in their 70s, are they actually getting the chance to do just that.

JUDITH BERNSTEIN, BLACK SHEEP FEMINIST

She still lives and works in the same Chinatown studio she has held since 1967. She filled her space with stuffed animals and toys for her two Persian cats.  That all sits alongside her work depicting testicle-headed Donald Trumps and vagina-faced Hillary Clintons.

BETTY TOMPKINS, BLACK SHEEP FEMINIST

Born in 1945, she likes to say that she became an overnight success at 72.  Police censured, condemned and seized her work, which pictures photorealistic close-ups of graphic sex acts. Now, however, she is lauded for her depiction of lust-full female sexuality.

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CAROLEE SHNEEMANN, BLACK SHEEP FEMINIST

She is famous for her 1975 performance at a women’s art festival in East Hampton where she unrolled a scroll from her vagina and read from it. She is still making work today, but she worries that she, and her fellow postmenopausal colleagues, are only gaining recognition now, in their old age, because no one is threated by them sexually anymore. Their depictions of female desire aren’t dangerous because they are past the “fuckable” stage.

JUANITA MCNEELY, BLACK SHEEP FEMINIST

The survivor of multiple cancer diagnosis, McNeely paints vivid, writhing figures intermeshed with fish skeletons and black bats. She likes to bring the viewer in with brilliant color and then shock them with violent images. The people never knew what hit them.

JUDY CHICAGO, BLACK SHEEP FEMINIST

Chicago is probably the most famous of the group, but she is not necessarily the most shocking. Her most famous piece, “Dinner Party,” reminds viewers that women have also made history (surprise, surprise!), amongst the many men that we are forced to learn about time and time again. It is a huge and ever-important piece that is currently housed in the Brooklyn Museum.

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