Beth B has always been confrontational. From the moment she exploded onto the New York underground scene in the late ‘70s with Scott B producing No Wave, punk films such as Vortex, G-Man, Black Box, The Offenders, and others Beth B has been in your face. The same punk ethos still lives in her sculpture and photography and is evident in both the Monuments and Portraits series.
In Monuments Beth B presents towering female torsos that the visitor must confront in a way that quite literally makes them feel small and insignificant. The pair are turned somewhat toward each other as if in conversation adding to the sense that the visitor is not the subject. The fact that the torsos are front facades only, showing the negative space behind, gives them a the character of a mask as well. The accompanying photographs further illustrate the iconic, towering nature of the female torso. There is confidence, strength, and power here that seems inherent rather than implied.
With Portraits the in-your-face element is more obvious. A series of close-up images of female genitalia devoid of any sense of context or connection to the body, the images are at once intimate and confrontational. They present the most covered and secretive part of the body as form, as personality, as political statement, as sexual, and as-is.
See more of Beth B’s work at her official website.
All artwork © Beth B.