Isabel Dolan: The Exploration of Gender in Art and Politics

How we would represent politicians if we lived in a matriarchal society that celebrated gender and identity.  How does gender and identity intersect with art?  I was inspired by the work of Judy Chicago. She had a series where she embroidered  napkins with questions like “what if women ruled the world?” and “would God be female?”.

This inspired me to think about how women and non-binary people would be represented in art if women did rule the world.

I chose to do presidential portraits because I wanted my work to be subversive and we have never had a female president in the US, so I thought it would be a fitting project. Additionally, the portraits we have of female politicians copy the portraits of male politicians. This is because, across the globe, many people agree that a politician shouldn’t look too feminine. Therefore, femininity or any expression of identity is not widely accepted. I wanted to do this topic because I wanted the opportunity to be personally creative with my project and photography is a hobby of mine. Also, as an aspiring filmmaker and photographer, I am always curious about how identity intersects with the visual arts. 

My models are Carina Grande, Xavi Campbell, and Audrey Krishnadasan. 

Occidental College is a partner of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality.

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