Artist's Statement

The New Venus addresses issues involving art, commodity and reality. The use of the female form in art is as old as art itself.  As we enter the 21st century, our understanding of the portrayal of the female form has many layers. The Venus, a nude ideal goddess from Greek myth is no longer adequate. Our contemporary ideal of beauty is often plastic and false, which realistically can not be achieved. In the digital realm, there are no such limitations as pristine perfection can be achieved with the click of a mouse.

Creating a digital sculpture relates to the current influx of digital commodities and income. Players of online games can often make a comfortable living from selling digital “items” from the game. Programs such as Adobe Photoshop and 3D Studio Max, which are used to create, render or touch up digital images, media or models, sell for hundreds of dollars. The American consumer has grown accustomed to purchasing products, which in reality do not exist.

The New Venus was created to address and bring awareness to these issues. The personality of the New Venus is based on my mother. In my eyes she is the true representation of a 21st century woman. At age 49, she has been divorced for almost a decade and has struggled to find work, be a single parent and live within this male dominated, beauty oriented society. 

The portrayal of ideal beauty, digital commodity, and the female form in art, are the New Venus.


Views of  the Female Body in Art and Media


From Scott Lukas, Ph.D.


Sexual harassment is manifested in numerous ways. The power of men over women is exhibited in many linguistic senses—more derogatory terms for women exist as compared to men; men whistle and cat-call, while there is no comparable register for women; and men have more linguistic power, because of social status, which allows them to harass women. Sexual harassment can also be understood at a visual level.

How to Read an Image:

Erving Goffman's classic Gender Advertisements (1979) offers a semiotic analysis of advertising. Goffman's analysis looks at the specific codes present in ads and considers what they say about society and social relationships. His study includes a focus on minute details of ads, visual composition of ads, as well as the presence of specific social themes in ads.



This blurry ad appeared in Goffman's text. At a semiotic level, we may read much about the ad regardless of the context of the product being sold or even the specific written text in the ad. The differences in the positioning of the male and the female indicate clear power dimensions relevant to our society. The male figure, by virtue of his standing above, has more power than the female who is on the ground. Additionally, the positions and angles of the two bodies also offer indications of power differences. The male's body is relaxed and confident, the female's is subservient and open. Her gesture at the male and the composition of her legs may also suggest sexual submission.


Video Games:

from Mike Bielaczyc

Video games are filled with violence, female stereotypes and an overabundance of masculinity. Games provide a fantasy for the players, and too often these fantasies include idealized fantastical women waiting to fulfill the players digital dreams. Often online games allow players to adopt avatars, or graphical representations of themselves. These often are ideal, beautiful representations of people.

With the digital reality becoming more "real" everyday, where will this fantasy stop?

Below are some images from Gender Ads and some found myself..


Comparisons of "Art" and Media ads using "Sex to Sell"

"Comical" Representations of the Female Body ( Caution, graphical phrases and pictures, these images taken from popular "men's magazines"):

From Stacie Furia, Graduate Student, UCSB.

 The Media is responsible for an increasingly significant proportion of the American people's socialization. Everyday we are inundated with innumerable advertisements and images of what we are supposed to be. As a woman, I do not see myself in the media's depictions of women, but rather I see other women, collectively starving for both food and intellectual acknowledgement. I see these women being exploited and airbrushed, and I see something I will never be able accomplish--as it is physically impossible. But yet I will inevitably be judged against these images all the same.


More on the Views of the Female Body:


Gender Ads

NOW - National Organization for Women


The New Venus Project: