Leda Salazar, Sarah Lucas & Feminisim / by Tasha Ostrander & Ben Lincoln

 Photo by Tasha Ostrander©2016

Photo by Tasha Ostrander©2016




For her upcoming premier show, Leda Salazar imagines a “Forest of vaginas…exploding with color and vibrancy...” (braveartconsulting.com, ledasalazar.com May 19, 2016 blog).  This young, new artist prodigy of the Carpenter/Salazar family progeny explodes (herself) into the art world at Santa Fe Collective on August 5, 2016 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  SF Collective is fast becoming the hip, new venue for concept and intellect in contemporary art.

Salazar’s own fascination with sexuality and the female body emerged early in her life when coming of age.  Her use of bright pinks, reds and gold meld elegantly on tiny, life size sculptures of the female anatomy –  suspended on wire and string.

“I don’t consider myself a feminist….. (although) I do see how my work swims in that vein," says Salazar when asked about the forethought in creating her work.  Salazar goes on to say, “I chose to focus primarily on the female form and predominantly, the vagina because it is something I am (like literally) close to, and I love. To me, it is something that is funny, beautiful, strange, natural, alien, icky, and alluring. The vagina has a spectrum of emotions that it evokes in people. I like that." 

Like Sarah Lucas when responding to how she regarded her "I Scream Daddio" Installation at the 2015 Venice Biennale British Pavillion, “This process, among a set of close female friends, 'was really lovely. The funny thing is – it’s a very intimate process and you’re naked to do it, and have to be touched in intimate places. It takes quite a bit of trust. But it brings you closer, it’s a really nice thing.'” (Charlotte Haggis, theguardian.com, May 6, 2015).

On the topic of feminism, Lucas said of her recent work as, “absolutely for women. Well I am a woman, I can’t take that out of it. I don’t think the world’s fair. Yes, I am a feminist, and it is a feminine show. I am not on my soapbox about it, but yes, I wanted this to be a strong feminine show.” She added: “I didn’t want to make a career about being angry because I felt that that would be so bad for my health in the long term.” (Charlotte Haggis, theguardian.com, May 5, 2015).

Salazar mused that, "...I am just not identifying as (a feminist) because I have not let go of the stigma all together.... that you are an aggressive radical feminist dyke who is offended by everything and thinks all men should die. And that is totally not true..."

In the tradition of contemporary female artist like Lucas, Tracey Emin, Mailyn Minter, Judy Chicago, et al, Salazar emerges within this genre tackling and speakly loudly about femininity and the feminine.  And while she has not framed her work within the construct of anger or resentment of oppression or objectification (quite the contrary, in fact), she does so in a raw, honest and uncensored expression.

-Ben Lincoln