Who is Ana Mendieta?: Extract from a Graphic Biography

We’re pleased to be able to feature an extract from the graphic biography Who is Ana Mendieta? (The Feminist Press, 2011) by Christine Redfern, illustrated by Caro Caron.

This fiery account of Ana Mendieta is also a snapshot of the turbulent times in which she lived. In exile from revolutionary Cuba, Ana Mendieta found in the 1960s US another kind of social upheaval: Frida Kahlo was finally being appreciated as an artist, not just a muse; Valerie Solanas wrote her manifesto, then shot Andy Warhol; Carolee Schneemann performed nude and pulled a feminist scroll out of her vagina. And Ana Mendieta began creating what she called “earth-body art,” revolutionary work that explored issues of gender and cultural activity. In 1985, at the height of her success, she plunged to her death from the window of the New York City apartment she shared with her husband, artist Carl Andre. He was tried and acquitted of her murder.

These vibrantly drawn pages chronicle how the women’s art movement changed the way we look at the female body in art and in the world. Redfern and Caron bring luminaries and the conflicts that inspired them to blazing life, telling us not only who is Ana Mendieta, but why we need to know.

 

Christine Redfern is an artist living and working in Montreal. Her drawings and animations have been screened and exhibited internationally. Her writing has appeared in local, national and international publications, such as: The Montreal Mirror, Canadian Art, Globe & Mail, National Post, ARTnews, and Contemporary in London. Her interviews with contemporary artists appear each Saturday in the Montreal Gazette, where she is currently the writer on visual arts.

Illustrator, painter, and cartoonist, Caro Caron has also been a body painter and a professional make-up artist for the past fifteen years. Published notably in the Cyclops anthologies, the King Can comix, Awaye Dzigidzine!, Mr. Ferraille, and Hôpital Brut (Dernier Cri).

[Who Is Ana Mendieta? by Christine Redfern and Caro Caron, with an introductory essay by Lucy R. Lippard, published in English by The Feminist Press (NYC, USA) and in French by Les Éditions du remue-ménage (Montréal), 2011, pp. 19-22]

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