Becky Slivinsky is, in a word, a powerhouse. She is a visual artist based in Savannah, GA, who is receiving her MFA from SCAD in painting and, while she is at it, empowering women. Her work brings awareness to how women are portrayed in the media, specifically in advertisements. In addition to her painting and mixed media work, Becky has printed a series of t-shirts with the text “Objets de Désir,” the French phrase for “objects of desire.” She poses the question: Are women simply objects of desire in the eyes of the public? Becky challenges gender stereotypes in a tactful and clever way through her mixed media portraits, in which she takes sexualized advertisements of women and applies cleaning products to them.
In the future, Becky would like to use her MFA to teach at the collegiate level and balance a mixture of her own artwork, exhibitions, and teaching others the craft she loves so much.
I had the pleasure of meeting Becky for the first time this past fall when we were studying abroad in Lacoste, France. I quickly realized Becky is a hardworking, talented, sharp-witted individual and an absolute joy to be around. It is my honor to spotlight her amazing work.
Here is Becky’s artist statement:
My work begins and ends with the act of cleaning. I question an ideal standard of beauty that is forced upon women within western culture in searching for the correlation between unrealistic beauty expectations and the ways in which women are portrayed in the media. I explore this by purchasing magazines that can be found in common places, whether it be a drug store or a street cart, and I flip through to find images of women that are displayed in different ways. Are their bodies being used as a commodity? Is this “fine-art” photography? Is this modeling? What exactly is it that makes one image professional and another “sexy”?
The image of the woman torn from the magazine is digitally manipulated and cleaning products are sprayed over her and I wipe her clean. My response to her objectification is reactionary. I scan the altered image and print it at a life size scale. I’m not cleaning the image because she is unclean, rather I am reclaiming her right to her body and sexuality through the obliteration of her objectification. I further alter the image by gesturally applying, pouring, spraying and wiping more cleaning products across her washed body in an attempt to force the viewer to examine the way women are seen in the world and ultimately subverting the meaning of the original image.
Samples of Becky Slivinsky’s mixed media work: