Published to coincide with the exhibition Marilyn Minter: All Wet at MO.CO, Montpellier Contemporain
American artist Marilyn Minter (born 1948) has long cultivated a space between the classical and the commercial for her photorealistic paintings and visceral photographs. Minter’s art is characterized by an emphasis on natural textures in all of their extremes—whether that of the turquoise eyeshadow on a young woman’s face or the glittery grit on the underside of a high-heeled shoe. This monograph dedicated to her recent works reveals her 2009 film Green Pink Caviar and a dozen monumental paintings as well as the processes behind such works.
In her most recent series Bathers, Minter is inspired by classical representations of the female bather as an artistic subject from ancient Greece to early Impressionism. She offers a contemporary version of this figure: her female subjects relax and wash themselves in modern showers, their faces and bodies partially obscured by a film of condensation on the glass separating them from the viewer. In some images the women appear as a mere blur behind the glass; in others, the rivulets of water that course down the glass plane reveal enough to identify a face or body part. The effect is a sensuousness that defies the male voyeuristic gaze seen throughout art history.