For male surrealists, women have always been depicted as passive objects of desire. While within Tanning's work, it's easy for me to view her work from a feminist perspective. Within her work, most of the female protagonist has entirely different qualities. Like the one on the left, two young girls with ripped clothes both gaze into an imagined world with giant sunflowers. I first saw this piece was in the Tate Modern, the actual work is much more sensational unnerving. The female figures under her brush are poetic in their silent power and challenge the unusual fear.
Tanning as one of the handfuls female surrealists who gained my admiration throughout my art career. I was fascinated by this irrational world full of unconscious creation, creepy adolescent girls, unknown door some sort. In short, Tanning and I do share something uncanny in common. She's trying to expand the ongoing exploration of the themes- family, domestic spaces, flesh, and bodies, uncover the things lurking in the shadow or behind the close door- taboo.
Although my work most of the time shows an interest in domestic space from a feminist perspective dealing with pass memory. I did try to depict the female protagonist 'Dog Lady' in early 2020 who has not inhibited by society's expectation and moral codes. It didn't turn out as I want, somehow the intention od the subversion of gender and identity didn't really match the audience.
Indeed, above all, this truly strange singular version of Tanning will keep reminding me of the starting point "I still care" as the picture show on the right.