In Conversation with Andrea Mary Marshall: Photographer, Painter, and Feminist Provocateur
In conversation with Andrea Mary Marshall, a photographer and painter who can be provocative and sexually explicit in one moment or muted and vulnerable in another moment. Marshall is her own muse/subject and I love diving into the chameleon-like personas she presents in her work. Marshall talks womanhood, rejecting feminine binaries, referencing selfie queen Kim Kardashian, and new upcoming work.
Gallery Gurls: The Feminist Calendar is a powerful series because it takes on feminine duality. It presents a highly sexualized female body surrounded by fast cars immersed in consumerism and on the flip side it shows a woman make-up free and subdued. Can you expand on this body of work?
Andrea Mary Marshall: All of my work examines the complex nature of womanhood, including Toxic Women, Gia Condo and Sacred/Iconic. The Feminist Calendar overtly challenges a binary perspective of women. I do not view the feminine experience as a set of mutually exclusive identities. As a woman, I am sexual and serious, masculine and feminine, sensitive and strong.
In your 'Polaroids' series, you embody the Kim Kardashian persona and examine 'seflie' culture through analog technology. Can you tell me more?
Kim is pop culture’s Venus. Her self-created, manipulated image has become the Icon to a generation of women copying her every nip, tuck and filter. Part of my role as an artist is to reflect the world I live in. I’m just keeping up.
I see fashion plays a role in your images, what do costumes and accessories bring to the photograph?
Fashion is storytelling. It creates the character and the narrative. Certain costumes and accessories become symbols that help me communicate and connect with my viewers.
Your nude body is the canvas and the subject in most of your work, what do you say to those who say you self-objectify?
My body, my choice.
"I do not view the feminine experience as a set of mutually exclusive identities. As a woman, I am sexual and serious, masculine and feminine, sensitive and strong."
In your work you also present the female body enjoying masturbation. Can you talk more about this?
The theme of masturbation in my work has deeper meaning. In my paintings, Search for the Holy Grail (2010) and The Ecstasy of Magdalen (2017), the message is less about self-pleasure, and more about the journey within.
In your own words why are you a nasty woman?
I’m in control.
Why is intersectional feminism important to you and what does it mean to you?
Intersectionality is understanding the world we live in and having respect and compassion for all walks of life. Thinking intersectionally and advocating for inclusion is crucial for equality in the feminist movement and humanity.
What's next for you in 2018?
I’m working on a series of self-portrait paintings titled, Holy Shit. For the past two years, I’ve been studying Old Master paintings from the Italian and Northern Renaissance, and I’m incorporating these techniques into my new works.
"Thinking intersectionally and advocating for inclusion is crucial for equality in the feminist movement and humanity."
Follow Andrea Mary Marshall on Instagram: @andrea.mary.marshall