It is here where one’s cultural illness becomes their self-portrait. However, she also has an awareness and readiness to educate, not a vulnerability or innocence to be molested.” Furthermore, as modeled in a pose, Renee Cox sits on a silk, yellow, daybed with her back to the camera. Her head is turned to the side showing off her strong profile by not gazing at the eyes of the viewer and has her head full of dark brown and golden hairs. Her look in the image is natural, but strong and showcases her firm muscular back. As Cox is nude in the picture, her skin color contrasts with the pale yellow color of the cushions shown in the picture. Her red heels and slightly bent knees tries to overestimate her ample.
This photograph of Baby Back is from the Cox’s collection of work called American Family and is one of the pieces that was included in “Posing Beauty in African American Culture.”Isaak, “in his autobiographical work American Family – an exhibition of desire, its construction and dissemination – Renee Cox explores the numerous identities, both fictional and real, she has assumed throughout her life – from Catholic school girl, to wife and mother who knows (and shows) sexual pleasure, to artist/advocate contesting the racial and gender biases of a whole realm of visual representations.” Hence, Cox has dedicated her entire career to deconstructing stereotypes and to reform the black woman’s body, using her nude form as a subject. One of the Cox’s main motivation has always been to create something new which has positive visual representations of African Americans. In one of the article, Cox argues that a “shift to matriarchal art will transform aesthetic expressions to interact with daily life and society, rather than compartmentalized artistic discussions that emphasize beauty over process and expression.” Her bold, stunning and beautiful photography often features herself, and addresses a wide range of issues from racism, sexism, and religion, all the way to reclaim the empowering images and representations of Blackness.In addition, Cox created another art, 41 Bullets at Green River, 2001, photographic image, 960*720 PPI.
In this image, Cox is tied to a tree and posed as the christian martyr. This work can be seen to draw one’s attention to “the “martyrdom” of an unarmed west African American immigrant Amadou Diallo, who was killed in 1999 by four New York City police officers when they shot him 41 times in his doorway.”In 41 Bullets at Green River, artist represents herself completely naked and her body bleeding due to multiple wounds of arrows.
Her body is attached to a tree trunk with a wide, clear rope and arms tied over the face. Despite the absence of arrows – attributes of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian – the pose of Renee Cox and her attitude of mixing pain and sensuality, explicitly awakens the ill-treatment done with the saint. This act is can be described as a police blunder and solidifies the brutality of the police and discrimination against the black community.
By identifying herself with the martyr, she wants to criticize the crimes committed against women. This hypothesis can be confirmed by looking at the tortured female body which shows Renee Cox as the representation of the woman, and in particular of the black woman.It is also remarkable that artists uses the figure of Christ as a means, not only to assume their identity but also to reveal their support to a minority and their deep impression of being excluded. For Renee Cox, she poses in the role of Saint Sebastian, with the aim of making visible the African – American community, mostly Catholic. Tired of being considered a sufferer, Renee Cox tries to reverse the martyrdom implication of Christian figures by turning them into committed figures.
Cox’s approach goes back to the fact that African Americans are “invisible” in Christian representations.Furthermore, Cox’s works, in which she often shows herself naked, wild and conscious, often represents power, and aims at political and social concerns: the place of women in society, the fight against racial discrimination, and the integration of minorities in the Church.As she believes that images of women in the media are misshapen and that they are imprisoned by some impractical representations of the female body, her main concern is the deconstruction of that stereotypes and the empowerment of women. Cox, by using her powerful figures, colourful backgrounds, large prints and the visual impact of her photographs, makes her work always creative, fascinating and politically engaging. She skillfully represents her ancestors and expresses her views on society, while strongly challenging the fate of African Americans and Women.On the other hand, Faith Ringgold was born on October 8, 1930, in Harlem, New York City.
She uses her skill in quilt making to tell stories of her life and those of others in the black community. She is very well known for her narrative quilts. Her early artwork is composed