BUT IS IT ART? // Mascara Baby

 

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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?

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017