Art Exhibit in December 2004, Term Paper

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The "self-portraits" might perhaps be viewed in terms of the artist's own past illnesses: At 37, Taylor-Woods, having already survived both colon cancer and breast cancer, likely understands, on personal level, the state of "suspense" between sickness and health, life and death. She may, then, have been "bound" to breast cancer (the invisible ropes may symbolize the disease), cured of it, and her body "released to freedom." In my opinion, however, an artistic weakness of these pictures is that their esthetics and size make them look less like serious art than fashion advertisements for bras and panties! For me, "Self-Portrait Suspended" is the least effective of the three exhibition subjects. The tension in the subject's body also appears to be that of someone hanging from ropes (which she in fact was); the tautness of her body kept me from "suspending my disbelief" (so to speak) that she was hanging in air.

After seeing the exhibition, I concluded that, although Taylor-Woods, a 1990 graduate of Goldsmiths College, might not be as well-known today if not married to Jopling, she deserves her success. According to Venus, Taylor-Woods has been accused of emotional contrivance, in "Crying Men" (her subjects
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are all well-known actors; are they truly crying or just pretending?), and enthrallment with celebrity for its own sake ("Crying Men"; "David") I feel, however, that Taylor-Woods is more interested in exploring boundaries between public and private selves ("Crying Men"); fantasy and reality ("Self-Portrait Suspended"), and unbridled imagination ("Strings"). The works have in common that they are all suspended: literally ("Strings"; "Self-Portrait") or in terms of emotional vulnerability ("Crying Men"). In this exhibition Sam Taylor-Wood endeavors to explore our "physical and emotional boundaries." In that, I believe she succeeds.

Works Consulted

Actors turn on the tears for artist Sam Taylor-Wood." Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved January 4, 2005 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1337506, 00 www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1337506,00.html." html>.

Alistair Sooke Reviews Strings at Edinburgh College of Art." Arts.telegraph.

Retrieved December 14, 2004 from http://www.telegraph.co.uk-arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2004/08/18/bastrings18.xml&s...." jhtml?xml=/arts/2004/08/18/bastrings18.xml&s....>.

Jones, Jonathan. "Sam Taylor-Wood: White Cube, London." Guardian Unlimited.

Retrieved December 14, 2004 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/critic/review

0,1169,1340668,00 www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1337506,00.html." html>.

The Crying Game: The IoS Profile: Sam Taylor-Wood." RedNova News. Retrieved January 4, 2005 from http://www.rednova.com/news/display/?id=99073.

Sam Taylor-Wood." Venus. Retrieved January 4, 2005 from http:venuzine.com / stories/arts_featured_artist/1078.

Sam Taylor-Wood: New Work: 29 October - 4 December 2004. Retrieved January 5, 2005 from http:www.artshole.co.uk/exhibitions/Oct%2005/Sam%TaylorWood htm>.

Sam Taylor-Wood: 'New Work' Art Exhibition at White Cube." Ballet-Dance

Magazine. Retrieved January 4, 2005 from http://www.ballet-dance.com/200412/articles/TaylorWood20041100.html

Sources Used in Documents:

Sam Taylor-Wood: New Work: 29 October - 4 December 2004. Retrieved January 5, 2005 from http:www.artshole.co.uk/exhibitions/Oct%2005/Sam%TaylorWood htm>.

Sam Taylor-Wood: 'New Work' Art Exhibition at White Cube." Ballet-Dance

Magazine. Retrieved January 4, 2005 from http://www.ballet-dance.com/200412/articles/TaylorWood20041100.html

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