• Françesca Alessandro

Collaging Gender

Updated: Mar 22

I have been looking further into works on gender, by creating bold collages that represent and toy with the stereotypes of gender. I began this work by considering how I could use portraiture photographs into this idea as collages, this was the basis in creating this first piece...

This piece looks at the female castrator, it jokes with the idea that by women showing dominance they immediately emasculate men. By placing the female figure in the centre of the image she becomes powerful, so therefore she must make the men seem weak which is shown by crosses over their faces and places ball like shapes in her hands. I furthered this "emasculation" by taking the idea of a vagina being a flower and turning it so the penises become flowers. Using neutral tones to blend in the shapes and people leaving most of the attention on the bold red and ball like shapes. The head of the female juxtaposes the body making it look more threatening and gaining it more power and attention. The female is no longer under the male gaze as she almost becomes no longer human.

In this piece I decided to create a harsher design for the vagina print with the soft shapes coming from the penis in the centre of the image and the circle. The green circle represents jealousy of genders, in some ways women are free they can play with their appearance and speak freely of their fears and troubles, yet men are also free in they can achieve what they like and they can go where they like without fear. The pink feminine square confines the phallic symbol showing it's own Imprisonment within it's gender. The lines symbolise connections.

This last piece is placing the female in the powerful position again with a bold collage of a vaginal symbol, this is then framed with the flower like penises. Although despite this the piece isn't really about women being powerful, it's about trying to create a balance. The colours are more feminine on both the male and female symbols showing a connection between the two. The brown triangle and orange squares are the harshest shapes out of this collage, these symbolise what is natural in the way we stenotype ourselves. These parts are all connected as we are all connected, we try to fit genders into boxes although it does not have one we are all different. Our biology is consistent but that doesn't mean we must fit in to one box and act a certain way.

These have really tested my artistic symbolism, as I am a photography student most of the symbols in a photograph are everyday objects, poses, and the composition of the image. It's very different creating a concept without using figures or objects. I have felt more freedom in trying to create with minimal materials as you have to focus more on shapes and colour. In previous works I have used acrylics and created thought provoking images although often with figures in still. These pieces I wanted to be brighter and more minimalistic and to be slightly fun. I will be working on creating more refined pieces that I will make available in an online shop, this is really exciting for me as I have wanted to share my work for a while. I have struggled to decide what felt was suitable for an online shop, I have worked on many personal projects which I have been hesitant to pass on.

I have created a book with Blurb, unfortunately the hardback version isn't cheap, although it is available as an Ebook, so check it out here!

Also I created a piece before the book looking at the same relationship which I presented as an Instagram page which you can view here!

Thanks for your support, feedback is appreciated!

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