This year’s election cycle has proven to be a difficult one. We’ve seen that our country is deeply divided with where it stands on many issues. This is natural as we’re a proudly diverse nation, but we all still deserve the same shot at happiness and health. With new agenda that puts equal rights at risk, it’s time to support what we care about. In a time when phrases about grabbing special bits all willy-nilly are presidential, and reproductive freedoms are in question, it’s important to grab back the respect to maintain + progress equality. That’s where the artists can shine. Musicians and visual artists have long been a powerful source of thought and conversation in society.
Jennie Cotterill of Bad Cop/Bad Cop has both skills on speed dial, as she creates empowering music and paintings prolifically. You might recall our artist spotlight with her just last year. Her newest painting titled, “Blessed Mother” will be a part of a group art show and fundraiser in Boston, MA on Wednesday (1/18) night at Hatch Fenway. It’s a striking adaptation of the Virgin Mary engulfed in the cozy labia of a woman’s vagina. Leading up to the art show opening, we asked her some questions about the gouache painting and its purpose.
The painting is absolutely beautiful, how did the idea come about?
The Virgen de Guadalupe has always struck me as blatantly vaginal. Certain audiences would consider the comparison blasphemous, which is the result of institutionalized sexism. Nothing is more universally life-giving and sacred than a vagina. It’s how we all got here. Portraying vaginas as obscene is a crime against life itself. The vilification of Planned Parenthood parallels that heinous denial of origin. Vaginas, along with women’s reproductive care and rights should be universally valued and revered.
With the recent political moonwalk, what role do you think artists play in society?
Artists have the power and responsibility to predict the future by introducing or packaging new ideas. Because it is physical culture, art has the power to direct culture. It always has. It also offers a palatable vehicle to deliver information. There’s a lot of ugly news on the horizon. I’m hoping to make beautiful work that addresses my concerns while providing hope and empowering others.
Why is protecting Planned Parenthood important to you?
Because I am a human being! Planned Parenthood is stepping in to fill the atrocious gaps in healthcare, education, and reproductive rights surrounding women’s bodies.
If you’re in the Boston area, check out the painting at The Grab Back art show and raffle on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 6-9pm at Hatch Fenway (Landmark Center, 401 Park Dr, Boston, MA ). 70+% of art sales and 100% of raffle proceeds are being donated to Planned Parenthood! Or if you’re interested in snagging one of her limited, enamel “check yourself” vagina/hand mirror pins you can email Jennie: firstname.lastname@example.org.