Renée Cox ‘yo mama’s last supper’ is a very controversial image, and an image worth talking about in this blog of how art and photography come together as one. I’ve always seen photography as an art form, the story in and the story behind it. Reading photographs is an important aspect of photography; it sets the amateur apart from the professional, the professional can talk on the subject in a confident way, it’s ok photographing a subject, but the thoughts and history behind the making is as equally important, looking back at the old pioneers of artists and photographers gives me a twirl of ideas.
The image below was taken by Renée Cox http://www.reneecox.org/ entitled ‘yo mama’s last supper’
I view Renée Cox image in a couple of different ways, firstly is the photograph anti-catholic, or pro black messiah or does it tell the same story as the ‘Last Supper’ from a view point of a black person or does it dwell with the issues of race, racism, and racial identity. Does the photograph represent Michelangelo Buonarroti sculpture ‘Pieta’ (below) The naked woman in Renée Cox photograph holds the same statues as the Virgin Mary holds Jesus in her arms as she mourns his death. Does Renée Cox image represents all of this?
This also draws me to the feminist art movement and the works of Valie Export who uses collage to depict history, in her adaptation of Botticelli’s ‘Venus and Mars’, 1483 below
In similar fashion to her video work with historical superimpositions, Valie Export uses a collage of self-portrait and a famous art-historical model – in this case, Botticelli’s ‘Venus and Mars’, 1483 – to investigate what she calls the historical ‘archive of body postures’. Through her identification with an idealized female figure in a mythological painting, the unchanging portrayal of woman through the ages is abruptly called into question.