BUT IS IT ART? // Mascara Baby


TATI: OK, Tony, my first question. Why did you tag this illustration as NSFW? I remember ASPHYXIATION and FELLAQUIO and I can see why they wouldn’t be safe to look at if your boss stands behind you. But this?

TONY: Hm. Because of the shape of the baby’s mouth. It’s actually a rather intimate part of the female anatomy that I’ve composited there.

TATI: Oh… really? This blot? Is it a vagina? Are you kidding me?

TONY: Oh, no, I’m not kidding in the slightest. You see, this was based on the disgust I felt after watching a documentary about child beauty pageants. The crass sexualisation of these young souls by their parents was all for the sake of winning… well, what? A cheap trophy? A ribbon? Prestige? What prestige? I was deeply offended that human beings would exploit their own flesh and blood in such a deplorable way.

TATI: Blah-blah-blah… Let’s stick to the topic, Tony. So, is it a baby inside a womb? Or is it just a face with a vagina-shaped mouth?

TONY: Hey! I’m spilling my guts here, lady! Couldn’t you be a wee bit more patient?

TATI: I’m rescuing your reputation, sir. Be grateful.

TONY: Fine. It’s the latter. A face with a vagina-shaped mouth. I was honestly hoping to shock people with the blatant juxtapositioning of these two elements, and get them thinking about why they found it so offensive. In short, I wanted to provoke discussion. As it turned out, no one really picked up on these themes anyway. So, I feel this illustration was a failure.

TATI: Why do you say this?

TONY: Perhaps it wasn’t clear that the baby’s mouth was a vagina. Frankly, visual communication is an ongoing challenge for me. I guess many artists struggle with this… or maybe I’m just not a very good artist. While I may render something a certain way, it doesn’t always mean that the themes I’m trying to convey are necessarily being received and understood as I intend them to be.

TATI: It wasn’t even clear that it’s a face. I guess you needed to put the picture vertical. Then your intent would be more clear. Didn’t you think of this?

TONY: Oh, I see! The egg trying to teach the hen, is that it? Yeah, I have a Bachelor of Visual Arts. And you?

TATI: I have eyes, don’t I? You over intellectualised this illustration.

TONY: Look, you’re probably right. I’m willing to concede that. But what would you have done?

TATI: Firstly, rotate it. And… maybe some details. Streaks of mascara would emphasize two things: crying and makeup. And a pacifier. It would show that the baby is an infant. (You probably like that. A vagina sucking a dummy. Old pervert!)

TONY: What the HELL?! NO! Why on earth would I like that? I think I know who the pervert is here, Tati, and it isn’t ME!

TATI: Just do this, baby. Make the changes. And then we can ask our dear readers who was right.

TONY: Why do I get the feeling we’re going to burn in hell for this?

TATI: Want to bet?

© All rights reserved 2017

82 thoughts on “BUT IS IT ART? // Mascara Baby

  1. If you ask me it’s the classic art style now. It isn’t a particular painting it what you think it is or the painter just felt like the painting should look like this. I agree with Tati, you should put more detail or else people will think it is something different.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I see a close up of the left side of Jimi Hendrix’s face superimposed on the breast of an inflatable woman. I’m quite disappointed to find it’s not to be honest.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There’s a huge difference between the two immediate reactions when viewed vertically or horizontally. I nearly passed off the horizontal view as ‘guy art’ and wasn’t going to read the entry. Before I clicked off the page, I got a few words that encouraged me to read. I’m happy I did.

    I like that you explained where the piece comes from and how you were affected by it. This point of origin gives the viewer a look inside the artist which many art lovers want. After understanding your point of view we can then look at it awhile and add our own views and slants.

    I love when the artist talks about their art.

    There aren’t enough eye drops, or liquor for that matter, to wash the vagina with a pacifier from my mind’s eye. I must now return to the fetal position, rock back and forth, and mumble one word, “why? why? why?” lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have to say, I appreciate the fact that you’re willing to give people and things the benefit of the doubt. I love talking about art and the creative process because I feel it does allow the viewer a peek behind the scenes, as it were. Thanks for giving this piece a second chance! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “I have eyes” LOL!
    I absolutely agree with you about the pageant children–no child should miss out on the only innocent period of their lives. Just sickening. As for the art…um…I thought it was boobs. Not the most discerning eye apparently.

    Liked by 2 people

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