Mixed Media- 36” x 36”, 2019
Madonna: Queen of Pop, icon of feminism and femininity, revolutionist in the realms of music, dance, fashion, and identity. The portrait at the centre of this piece has been selected to represent the early years of the star’s career, when she pushed boundaries so well it changed the social and political landscape of entertainment forever. Controversy abounded. Disapproval surrounding her image—which was hypersexual, religiously blasphemous, and unapologetic—led to banned videos, cancelled sponsorships, and even, at times, outraged fans; Simultaneously she was breaking world records time and again, enjoying massive success not just as a musician but also as an actress and businesswoman, gradually transforming the way women and members of the LGBTQ community perceived themselves and their potential.
The artist has surrounded Madonna’s image in newsprint featuring stories of other feminist icons from a similar era. The loud, proud defiance of Madonna—and the ways in which her privileges allowed her to make and defend the choices she made—is necessarily contrasted against the experiences of women in other parts of the world. There are places where the punishment for a woman’s self-actualization might have been—and still might be—her execution. A chaotic collage of various mediums, from newsprint to acrylic paint, forms the backdrop for a single bold, bright word: TIME. Time continues to pass and the world continues to evolve, but how much have things really changed?