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Monthly Archives: May 2012

May 31 2012

My Butt, by Helena Wurzel

Yesterday morning when I opened my email I was greeted with a giant image of a butt:

This is My Butt, by the Cambridge, MA–based painter Helena Wurzel, and the print is currently on offer at 20×200. Wurzel writes, “I depict images of my friends and myself in intimate moments of self-reflection and celebration. Private rituals such as dressing, undressing and looking in the mirror are reoccurring themes.”

It’s also the first artistic depiction of the butt’s butt that I’ve ever come across. I feel excited about this but also acutely uncomfortable. I cannot reach into the print and adjust the swimsuit.

Wurzel has a few other images on 20×200 that pull back the dressing-room curtain, as it were, on moments that aren’t detectable in our public-facing selves. Searching, which shows (presumably) the artist squatting on the floor in a semiorganized circle of mess, reminds me of a conversation I once had with a friend about the ways that the classic enigmatically posed photo of an author on a book jacket obscures the state of terror and supreme frumpiness that comes with producing creative work. If you look that picturesque while writing your book, it is probably not going to be a good book, or your editor will be the one squatting on the floor in a circle of crap.


And I love this one, too. It reminds me of the self-consciousness that sometimes defines the experience of being a woman standing in a gallery looking at art depicting a woman.

Do I Look Expensive?


© Lamar Clarkson Anderson 2018