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Turning Uncle Tom’s Cabin upside down, Alison Saar’s Topsy
Turning Uncle Tom’s Cabin upside down, Alison Saar’s Topsy

Jason and the Golden Fleece and the American anti-Slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin combine to upend our own contemporary myths

Carrie Mae Weems, <em>Untitled (Woman Feeding Bird)</em>, from <em>The Kitchen Table Series</em>
Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (Woman Feeding Bird), from The Kitchen Table Series

Weems sets her series around the kitchen table, a metaphor for the intimate spaces of home.

Marina Abramović, <em>The Artist is Present</em>
Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present

Is staring into the eyes of one of the world’s most renowned performance artists scary? Transcendent? Boring?

Lucian Freud, <em>Standing by the Rags</em>
Lucian Freud, Standing by the Rags

Freud’s nude isn’t the idealized, horizontal beauty of previous centuries, but a forthright, vertical one.

Yinka Shonibare, <em>The Swing (After Fragonard)</em>
Yinka Shonibare, The Swing (After Fragonard)

With her fingers delicately grasping the thickly coiled rope of a swing suspended mid-flight, a life-sized female mannequin flirtatiously kicks up her left foot, projecting her slipper into the air where it hovers above a tangle of branches. Our gaze is directed from the arch of her foot towards the vibrant trim of her petticoat, […]

Alfredo Jaar, <em>A Logo for America</em>
Alfredo Jaar, A Logo for America

Using the language of advertising, Jaar conveys a political message about who “Americans” really are.

Marlene Dumas, <em>Models</em>
Marlene Dumas, Models

Dumas paints from photographs, and deliberately makes her pictures strange, unsettling, and ugly.

Wangechi Mutu, <em>Preying Mantra</em>
Wangechi Mutu, Preying Mantra

Mutu uses collage as a medium for exploring being African and female.

Shirin Neshat, <em>Rebellious Silence, Women of Allah</em> series
Shirin Neshat, Rebellious Silence, Women of Allah series

Neshat’s series examines the complexities of women’s identities in the Middle East’s changing cultural landscape.

Rineke Dijkstra, <em>Odessa, Ukraine, August 4, 1993</em>
Rineke Dijkstra, Odessa, Ukraine, August 4, 1993

Dijkstra asks her subjects to pose themselves—and they often inadvertently reflect historic works of art.

Kiki Smith, <em>Lying with the Wolf</em>
Kiki Smith, Lying with the Wolf

Smith imbues a normally-violent story with tenderness in the embrace between a woman and a wolf.

Pepón Osorio, <em>En la barberia no se llora (No Crying Allowed in the Barbershop)</em>
Pepón Osorio, En la barberia no se llora (No Crying Allowed in the Barbershop)

Osorio’s art explores the experience of being Latin American in New York City.

Selected Contributors