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Lydia Benglis

Picture taken from Lydia Benglis, Artforum vol. 13, no. 3, 1974, magazine 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (26.7 x 26.7 cm) Property from a Private Collection

Born Lake Charles, Louisiana, 1941

Wax painting and latex Sculpture, photography and videos.

Greek- American artist. Her artistic career present sculptures without an structure exploring the relation between power and gender.

Benglis has a strong influence from the American painter Jackson Pollock. By the earlier 70’s she started her artistic career and established between a male-dominant art world. "Benglis re-envisioning of sculpture and painting through her early works using wax and poured latex, but also for her works dealing with feminist politics and self-image.”

Her most controversial and famous work was during 1974. After having a conflict with an art magazine about how her series of pictures should be presented, Benglis decided as a protest buy an advertising space and publish a picture of her photographical work that played with stereotypical gender ( a strong man, a weak woman). The series of pictures satirized the conservative definition of a woman and a man in society. The magazine didn't accept Benglis conditions for the publication so Benglis rejected the offer.  

Untitled, in the magazine Artforum vol. 13, no. 3, 1974, Benglis bought the advertising space. Posed as a Hollywood model while holding a dildo between her legs. 

For some the exaggeration of the phallus represented the artist purpose a symbolism of the hyper-masculinity, Benglis tried to make fun of the culture of power. However many feminist artist criticise the used of the phallus, for them this action emphasised the weakness of feminity and the exaltation of the masculine, also many considered as a vulgar kind of art.

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