- Lisa Yuskavage
- Motherfucking Rock
signed with the artist's initials and dated 1996 on the reverse
- oil on linen
Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above
New York, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Lisa Yuskavage, October - November 1996
"If that's a woman, what the hell am I?" Lisa Yuskavage
Lisa Yuskavage is a painter who revels in the sensuality of her medium. Her treatment of light and the flesh has been compared to the Baroque masters. However, her voluptuous naked women tend to elicit a complex range of reactions. Expertly painted in girlish candy colors, their corpulent breasts and buttocks seem to thrust out of the canvas at the viewer, highly sexualized yet grotesque. As though unaware of the swollen forms they bear, the women gaze absently into the middle distance or hold a cup of tea. They exist apart from their wild forms, as though their souls lie elsewhere. Others look down admiringly at their bodies, inviting the viewer to do the same. What they have in common is that they exude submissiveness and availability, with none of the agency a direct gaze would imply.
"I exploit what's dangerous and scares me about myself: misogyny, self deprecation, social climbing, constant longing for perfection. The work is always about things in myself that I feel incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassed by." Lisa Yuskavage
Yuskavage has said that her paintings come from deep within her psyche and that they are in some ways autobiographical, informed by the Penthouse magazines she and her school friends furtively dug out from their dark hiding places in the suburban family home. The images she found elicited a mixture of arousal and repulsion, as well as a sense of freakishness when she compared her own physique to those in the photographs. These feelings are evident in her adult work and compounded by the super-sized rendering of the female form, which lends to her paintings the immediacy of a photograph. Her work effectively cross-examines society's obsession with female sexuality, but Yuskavage always retains her sense of humor.