The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

The Oppression of Graphic Design

From a letter in today’s Emerald, “Poster exemplifies need for respect for women“:

As I walked across campus today, I noticed that the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is celebrating its new remodel and expansion with (among other things) a large billboard of a piece of artwork by Agustin Bejarano. The painting, called La Coqueta VII (Mujer Embarazada), depicts a side view of a heavily pregnant woman sitting on a stool. [Picture of the painting]

It’s a beautiful picture, which has also been featured on the cover of the most recent edition of the Eugene Weekly. And if I hadn’t seen it on the cover of the Weekly, I never would have noticed that the JSMA’s billboard crops out the woman’s stomach entirely. It’s as if it has been cut off – the billboard ends at the woman’s breasts.

To some, this may not seem like an issue. To me, it is a crystallization of how our culture views women, pregnancy and reproduction in general. In a society that has embraced abstinence-only education, that often views pregnancy and childbirth with embarrassment and disgust, and that frequently deconstructs images of women into individual body parts in movies, magazines and advertisements, it should really come as no surprise that the JSMA has censored the image of a woman blooming with life, fertility and power.

Projecting much? I mean, really, which is more likely: “I think this picture is more aesthetically pleasing cropped like this,” or “This woman is too full of ‘life, fertility and power,’ so I will crop her big pregger-belly out.”

  1. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Just seems like a bad choice.

    Like a huge poster of the Mona Lisa with no head.

    If you want HUGE….pick a piece of art that fits within your parameters.

    The deconstruction crap…that’s just looking for something that isn’t there. But then it’s probably because the curators are so deeply entrenched in this patriarchal society that they are completely unaware of their hatred toward women and unborn babies. So, I guess we can thank the article’s author for pointing that out…then again, do the curators read the ol’ dirty?

  2. Astrid says:

    The real issue has to do with art and respect for an artist’s work. Cropping any artwork without the artist’s permission is not acceptable.

  3. Betz says:

    Really? There’s nothing left to gripe about on campus except advertising posters on the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum walls? Sheesh…

  4. Kai Davis says:

    Totally. Lets go ‘crop’ out some babies in the Abortion Mobile.

    Joking aside, It’s an aesthetic choice made by some advertising company or promotions manager, not a far reaching conspiracy to reduce pregnant women to breasts and nothing more.

  5. Vincent says:

    I think it was a subtle way of endorsing baby killing.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.