Picture Yourself Here: Edie Manet's Olympia, the Artist (2007)
by Peg Brand
Oil on foam board.
"As you put your face into one of the holes in Brand’s (2008) repaintings of women by male artists and get your picture taken, there is amusement that works in the same way as the anger in response to Orlan.
Peggy has a lighter touch. Your take on the traditional art is changed by both. Art changes the content of art as it changes the content of experience.
Both take me back to the originals, to the male chauvinist side of the male painters, to their role as flâneur and their sometimes hostile vision of the feminine. I re-enter their world with heightened consciousness. Sometimes critical or even hostile and sometimes not. Art, as Tolstoy (1995) says, is shared communication of feeling, and to enter a world of reconfigured experience in a chauvinist painting of a woman confronts you in a way that art does with the question, the personal question, so what do you make of this?
It is like the arches of a chapel that you tie together in the keystone loop at the top of the chapel (Lehrer, 2007) that supports the structure of your life as you experience your autonomy in what you make of the art object."
— Keith Lehrer, Art, Self, and Knowledge