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 Marilyn A. Minter  (1948 - )

About: Marilyn A. Minter


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Lived/Active: New York/Louisiana      Known for: pop images, mod figure and mural painting

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Ad Code: 3
Marilyn A Minter
from Auction House Records.
Wave, 2006
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Based in New York City, Marilyn Minter is a painter whose work ranges from fashion illustration to pornography and in many cases, provokes a shocked or repelled reaction in the viewer.   Many of her paintings, usually enamel on metal, are based on her photographs, with themes of commercial influences on femininity and the tragedy of the 'cult of beauty' on its victims---the art of style where everything goes wrong.  On the surface these paintings seem to be commercial fashion spreads, but problems are immediately apparent in the subjects such as way too much hair, signs of self mutilation, strange make up, gender confusion, and cannibalistic mouths.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art sponsored an exhibition of her work in the summer of 2005, and in the promotional material, her work was described as examining "the relationships between the body, photography, and painting, tapping into cultural anxieties about sexuality and desire."  (Many of her works are close ups of) "makeup-laden lips, eyes, and toes, whose luscious colors, glossy surfaces and immediate subject matter are both seductive and disturbing. 

Minter took undergraduate study at the University of Florida in the 1960s, and was impressed by photographer, Diane Arbus, although she was not a student of hers.  In those days Minter was doing macabre photography including "photographic documentation of her mother, Honora Elizabeth Laskey Minter, an aging beauty and drug addict whose haggard demeanor was only matched by her cosmetic obsessions," (SFStation) and by her obvious attitude of not giving a damn.

In the winter of 2006, hyper-realistic photographs were placed on billboards that towered over art galleries in Chelsea in Manhattan.  Of this effort, Minter said: "I'm trying to make an image of what it feels like to look.  I want to make a fresh vision of something that's compelling; something that commands our attention; something that is so visually lush that you'll give it multiple readings adding your own history and traditions to the layered content.  Some things make you feel transcended; others make you feel slimed.  I'm constantly looking for that transcendent moment." (Creativetime)  That same winter, 2006, Marilyn Minter was invited to enter work in the 73rd Annual Whitney Biennial, and was honored with her work being reproduced on the exhibition catalogue cover.

In addition to her painting, she also continues as a fashion photographer with clients such as Versace and Erickson Beamon.

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