facebook thread.

I thought this was an interesting conversation.

    Friday at 2:05pm ·  ·  · Share
      • Taija Ventrella Stolen artwork is a bummer, for sure. On a side note, I read an article in the Mountain Express that said another artist had asked Spagnola why he hadn't made any art of women activists, and his response was something like, "oh, I never thought of that." What!?! You never thought of half of the world's population? Really?
        Friday at 2:10pm · 
      • Taija Ventrella I see from the link that he's done a woman now . . . Bettie Page. Great, a bunch of awesome male activists, and one female sex symbol.
        Friday at 2:13pm · 
      • Naomi Fitzgerald whoa bro, Dustin is my homie! I doubt anything is done with implications of chauvinism- he makes the art that he is drawn to and does it all and only with love and beauty.
        Friday at 2:23pm ·  ·  1 person
      • Naomi Fitzgerald and by doubt I mean I know. Not to open it up again, but he is the most amazing, loving person I have ever met...just need to stress that.
        Yesterday at 2:42pm · 
      • Taija Ventrella That's cool Naomi, I wasn't trying to be offensive or overly-critical. I just think it's important for people to be especially aware when they're doing things that have a message. And the message I get is that male activists: awesome! Female activists: who cares?
        Yesterday at 2:52pm · 
      • Taija Ventrella I'm not trying to say that Dustin is a male chauvinist or anything, just that maybe he hasn't been as aware of the implications of his art as he could be.
        Yesterday at 2:53pm · 
      • Amanda Swafford What he actually said Taija was this.... “I don’t want to piss people off; I want to inspire people and get people to feel proud and happy and creative — and to question things.” It would be helpful if one such question was, “What can I do to help?” Spagnola listed off (literally) the reasons for the choice. “Number one, she’s a woman — a strong woman;
        19 hours ago · 
      • Taija Ventrella Where can I read that article?
        16 hours ago · 
      • Dustin Spagnola 
        hey there,
        i just wanted to say thanks for expressing your opinion, and to invite you to talk about your ideas in person sometime. im not much of a writer, but im going to try to express my thoughts on this conversation/internet thread to you.
        first, the artist you reference is my friend/aquaintence ursulla gullow. shes a writer for the mountain x and an art blogger also. she basically set a challenge to me to make art about women, noting a lack of that in my body of work.
        i took up that challenge and was happy to be encouraged to portay a woman, by a woman.
        i didnt feel very comfortable with this idea before, because im not a woman. i didnt want to misrepresent women, or to be percieved as objectifying them/you. after ursula, and a few other people voiced the idea that it should be done, i took the idea and i ran with it.
        i worked with images of frida khalo and marleine bastien. i was happy being able to represent both of them to the outside world.
        ursula wanted me to portray women, not women activists. i want to portray revolutionaries. people who do not follow the status quo, and who (for myself at least) represent individuals who do what they think is right, as opposed to what is expected of them.
        although betty page is a sex symbol, she is also an important and strong women who, for me, represents some kind of a start to contemporary feminism (the radical notion that we should all be treated equally and have the same opportunities and rights).
        i agree with you that it is important to be especially aware when creating a message. however, i make imagery, i am not a writer. i am sorry if my work offends you by misleading you to think that i dont think women are important. i dont think that. i believe we are all important. women and men. rich and poor. etc...
        id like to take a moment here to point out how important your message is. i am glad that you shared your point of view, but i would like it if you researched or knew more about what your talking about. please keep in mind that when you read media or are informed by it in any way (videos, photo, radio) you are getting a skewed and biased perspective, just as you and i are getting a mediated exchange with one another. i know that your a real person, but at this moment, i am alone, trying to type my thoughts to you, as a way of expressing my interest, and hoping that by doing so, i can positively influence you to continue to use your voice and share your thoughts.
        i think that criticism is a good thing and should lead us to being better people. especially when that criticism is created with compassion and empathy.
        im not saying that you have a chip on your shoulder, but maybe you should be aware of the effect that your words and actions have on others.
        i am an american male. of course im sexist and racist. i am a product of my culture. that does not mean that i agree with these things, or that i think they are right. i strive to be a good person and to be honest.

        this is the link to the article you asked about

        and, i just wanted to let you know that i love the fact that your questioning things and putting your concerns into the public sphere. i also wanted to let you know that i am more than happy to actually talk about these ideas and issues.
        and i published this thread on naomis page to my blog, because i thought it was important.
        2 minutes ago ·