1st image: Untitled (Facial Hair Transplant - 1972) In this fully documented series, Ana Mendieta asked a student to trim his beard and placed the trimmings on her face. These images highlighted her gender fluidity and challenged society’s beauty standards.
2nd Image: Untitled (People Looking at Blood, Moffitt - 1973) In this piece, Mendieta spread animal blood on the sidewalk outside of her house so it appeared to passersby as if the blood was leaking out from under her closed doorway. She captured people’s reactions as they walked past the blood and noticed that most gave the blood no more than a glance. This piece was used to demonstrate society’s desensitization to violence.
Feminist artist Ana Mendieta was born to a Catholic family in Havana, Cuba in 1948, but was sent to the U.S. with her sister, Raquel, under Operation Peter Pan. Operation Peter Pan was run by the US government and Catholic charities to escape communist rule under Fidel Castro. Mendieta’s work focused on violence towards women and often used blood and her body as a paintbrush. By eliminating the paintbrush, she was able to use her own body to control her desired outcome rather than relying on an objectification of the male gaze as dictator to the female body. Mendieta's artwork juxtaposed Yves Klein’s paintings where naked females painted with their bodies under the instruction of Klein’s own male ego. Mendieta was both the instructor and participant in the gesture of her own female form.
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