Women in Art: Marilyn Minter

Artist - Marilyn Minter

If someone were to ask me, "What do you like about a Marilyn Minter painting or photo?" my answer would simply be - Every-fuck'n-thing!

Marilyn Minter's work is like an explosion of wonderfulness. To be exact, her work is like wonderfulness on steroids, glamour on crack and iconography on cocaine. Now if those drug references are too much to handle, imagine spending a gray and rainy New York afternoon in Ms. Minter's fun factory with her merry band of assistants and conspirators. I swear, I thought I would need inspiration rehab after discussing everything with her from the current state of the art world, modern feminism and simply enjoying her current success.

Paintings by Marilyn Minter: Choo Shoe @2011 / Drizzle (Wangechi Mutu) @2010

While Ms. Minter is well into her 60's she possesses the energy and enthusiasm of a young artist just sneaking her way into the art world. She's almost like an art world party crasher creating work that smashes through the canvas with explosions of gold, silver, jewels and optimism. Her work seamlessly marries art and fashion, glamour and decay as well as hope and tragedy. And as much as her work is in your face, it also allows viewers to find a sense of peace as well as timelessness with each layered brush stroke or manipulated pixel.

As it would be impossible for me to use mere words to describe my experience with Marilyn Minter or her work - you will have to wait for her upcoming retrospective to tackle that daunting task. Instead, I decided to play a rapid fire round of 13 Questions with Marilyn and her answers are a mirror image of her core essence - razor sharp, poignant, and magical.

1) Some in the art world point to your solo show in 2005 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as the turning point in your career, but can I ask when did you personally feel as if you had finally made it?

I still don't feel like I've made it. I can't imagine ever feeling like I've made it.

2) Beyond the physical manifestations of success (i.e. larger studio space, assistants and money) what are some of the other advantages of success at this stage of your career?

Being able to get designers to lend me shoes, props, jewelry etc. for my shoots. I still have to give everything back, but the fact that I can get them at all - makes everything easier.

3) When I first began this series "Women in Art" you were truly on the top of my wish list, if you had a wish list of an artist to interview (dead or alive) who would be on the top?

Diane Arbus, Henry Darger and Hans Bellmer

4) Have there been other artists along the way that have assisted you in your journey through the good and lean times?

Absolutely! Many, too many to name.

5) Would you still consider yourself a feminist?

A radical feminist.

6) There are some that believe the word feminist should disappear from our lexicon - what's your feeling on the word?

That's impossible. I can't imagine anyone that would want the word feminist to disappear. Feminism is the best movement that's happened in the 21st century, and it benefits everyone.

Marilyn Minter Photos: Tear Jerker @2004 / Ball Spitter @2012 / Satiated @2003

7) Is there anything about the art world as it stands today that you would like to see change?

I would like to see a meritocracy.

8) The one thing that has personally troubled me is the blatant inequality of the pricing as well as placement of work by women compared to the hefty prices garnered by male artists? Is this something you would like to see change and why?

Why would I want any changes? I love getting 1/3 of what my male colleagues make.

9) While there are some very well known women collecting art - do you believe if more women were collecting work by women artists this could move things in the right direction?

Yes. Women collectors need to lean in more.

10) What areas of cultural discourse would you like to explore in your next body of work?

I'm making a new body of work with beautiful older women. Wrinkles and all.

11) I know that you are planning a retrospective of your work, can I ask what you hope viewers will take away from this experience?

I hope to introduce my work to new audiences.

12) If you could give any words of encouragement or advice to young women entering the art world today what would it be?

This is to both men and women: Don't do this unless you have no choice.

13) Final question, wine or spirits?

In my case, there is never enough of either.