Artist and activist Marilyn Minter’s studio is covered in large paintings that feature women’s legs, tongues, and torsos shrouded enticingly in layers of steamy mist; they dominate the walls of the sprawling space. But when I arrive for our visit, Minter is focused on a different project. She leads me excitedly past the aforementioned paintings (which will debut at her gallery, Salon 94, this fall, the same time her first major retrospective travels to the Brooklyn Museum) to a small, back corner where 8x10-inch images of wide-open, wet mouths paper one wall. They are the spoils of Minter’s recent collaboration with nonprofit Planned Parenthood and the livewire pop star Miley Cyrus. The mouths, it turns out, belong to Cyrus.
Minter’s no-holds-barred depictions of women in the throes of sexual pleasure or adorned with dirt and diamonds have triggered controversy since the 1970s. In the ’90s, her paintings of porn scenes, which appropriated graphic imagery in order to shine light on the commodification of the female body, famously inspired so much vitriol that she was “kicked out of the art world,” as she’ll explain to anyone who asks. But that didn’t stop the red-blooded Minter from making work and defending the feminist cause.
Now in her 60s, Minter splits her time between preparing for numerous exhibitions and advocating for gender equality and reproductive rights. Last year, she teamed up with Planned Parenthood for its most successful benefit auction to date, finagling six-figure donations from Cindy Sherman, Cecily Brown, and Richard Prince. And now, as rhetoric around reproductive rights ramps up with the election cycle, she’s cooked up another project supporting the nonprofit.
When I visit, Minter is anxiously awaiting the delivery of the final portrait she took of Cyrus, a celebrity with 40.5 million Instagram followers and her own history of loud advocacy for LGBTQ and reproductive rights. Released today at Planned Parenthood’s spring luncheon, fifty editions of the image will be offered for $5,500 each. (The artist also convinced Marc Jacobs to publicly support the cause—his stores will hawk t-shirts sporting a more risqué image of Cyrus for $60.) While Minter waits, we talk about the relationship between art and advocacy, the importance of women supporting women, and her passionate backing of Planned Parenthood. When the doorbell rings, Minter squeals with excitement, and, as her assistants unwrap the package, she asks if I’ll take a photo of her holding the portrait. The resulting iPhone image shows the artist smiling ear-to-ear over the dewy, angelic visage of a pop star with a social media presence that has the power to effect change.
This text is honrably extracted from artsy.net by hoomartgallery.com