Marilyn Minter paints large, and she paints dirty.
It’s not that her technique is sloppy in anyway. Her huge, enamel paintings are photo-realistic, defying the viewer to come close and prove just what they’re seeing: is it a massive print or a hand-done piece? But Minter, inspired by the lascivious way women are treated in advertising (and art in general), rides the line between pop-art seduction and gritty revulsion.
“Green Pink Caviar” could be called the centerpiece of her current exhibition, “Pretty/Dirty,” currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum. That’s Minter’s high-def video work. Filmed in slow-motion and backed by soft, seductive chimes, a woman licks up brightly colored candy fluids from a sheet of glass. The piece is shot through the glass and so close as to render the subject anonymous—she is only wet lips and a probing tongue sliding and smashing against the glass.
From this video came “Orange Crush” and “Pop Rocks,” two bill-board-sized paintings in enamel on metal.
The show also features older works by Minter, beginning with her photography in 1969. She plays with glass there too, catching her mother’s reflection in a mirror as the only thing in focus. She moved from that to still-lifes, made the still-lifes pornographic, and started arguments in the art-world of the early ‘90s as a woman making “fetish art.”
“Smash” is a prime example of her time in this field. It is an eight minute video of a woman in towering heels stomping in silver paint and splashing it everywhere.
The influences of her favorite artists shine clearly in her work: Chuck Close, Bruce Nauman, Janet Fish, and above all, Jackson Pollock. His film with Hans Namuth, “Jackson Pollock 51” is the obvious direct ancestor to “Green Pink Caviar.”
“Marilyn Minteer: Pretty/Dirty” will be on display at the Brooklyn Museum through April 2nd.