Saturday, February 13, 2016
Artist Reflection: David Wojnarowicz
After watching "A Fire in My Belly" in class, I was really intrigued by David Wojnarowicz's work. I love how unapologetic his work was, each piece having some kind of statement that he felt needed to be made. From what we talked about in class, and what I have since learned in doing some reading on my own, his artwork took a severe turn once he was diagnosed with AIDS. His pieces became far more political with the intent of stirring debate in order to engage conversations about medical research, art funding, and censorship of the arts. It seems that each of his pieces, both before and after his diagnoses, were made with the intent of pushing the envelope. I loved that "A Fire in My Belly" was so provocative and almost alarming that you just couldn't look away. It wraps the viewer in and forces them to find their own meaning through making sense of and connecting the images for themselves. In doing some research outside of class, I came across one of his last videos, titled "Beautiful People." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6BvCaTpaAw) It shows one of the male members of the band that Wojnarcowicz was in, as he gets up in the morning and transforms himself into a female. The tone of the video urges acceptance and a sense of contentedness, putting forth a symbol of dual identity that provokes the audience to redefine gender expectations - very much like most of his other work.