Week 2-Artist OTW-Ana Mendieta

This week’s Artist of the Week, Ana Medieta really touched me and gave me a new-found appreciation for her art. I look forward to each Artist OTW because they give me a new insight on a type of art I’ve never seen before. I really liked Ana Medieta’s artwork because most of her pieces either incorporated nature or feminist values, both of which I am a strong supporter of. When I researched more about her I learned that the way I saw her “Tree of Life” artwork, was exactly how she intended for viewers to see it. According to Medieta “I become an extension of nature and nature becomes an extension of my body”. As I glanced through a little bit of an online portfolio of some of her works, “The Tree of Life” photograph really stood out to me.

As mentioned in the slack discussion of “The Tree of Life”:

I really love Ana Medieta’s artwork because they are extremely thought provoking pieces that depict the way we exist in the world with nature. I learned in the video that all of her artwork was meant to be captured by photography because it was not meant to last a long time. A lot of her art pieces were made using elements found in nature, and also usually included herself as the model. One of her art pieces that stood out to me the most was “The Tree of Life” take in 1976. In this photo, Medieta is standing against a tree covered in grass and dirt that camouflages her into the trunk of the tree. When I saw this photo I instantly thought that she was attempting to be a part of the tree. I took this picture to mean that we essentially are a part of nature, and without trees and other nature we cannot survive. Trees are one of the top sources for our oxygen so without them man cannot exist. There is so much deforestation and pollution of our planet that I feel like Medieta made this art piece to get people thinking about the fact we must protect our planet and nature because without them, we cannot survive.

In addition to Medieta’s incredible artworks centered around nature, I was also very impressed and put into deep thought after seeing some of her feminist artwork presented by my classmates during the slack discussion. I really liked the portraits of her when she had facial hair and other manly characteristics because to me the facial hair was her way of trying to make a point that men and women are equal, and the only thing separating the two are not their capabilities, but their physical features. I think something all of Medieta’s artworks have in common is that they provoke conversation. I did not see a single art piece where I simply thought “that’s nice” and moved on, I found myself trying to understand and interpret the meaning behind each piece because you can tell each one was thought out and done a specific way for a reason.

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