Minter and Owning It

While I was at work yesterday, my husband in an attempt to be cheeky sent me an article from the NY Times titled The Joys (and Challenges) of Sex After 70 : Sex can drop off in our final decades. But for those who keep going, it can be the best of their lives.

It’s actually a great, long read and a topic that should be considered advice for everyone, not just us oldsters. What I started noticing though are the photos accompanying the article, are all by artist Marilyn Minter. Excellent I thought. More of this sort of view of people outside of the narrow tunnel of what you would presume. Of course, as expected, some people were up in arms over the photographs. I went to the comments, which of course is always a ten-alarm dumpster fire if the topic is sex. God Bless America: How Vulgar!

All photos here copyright NYTs and Marilyn Minter. 

I’ve been watching Minter’s work for a long time, from back in the day when I was able to frequent the galleries in NYC on a regular basis. She, who at 73 years old is statistically the target audience the article is looking at. 

That being said, she has taken a career’s worth of criticism for choosing to focus on the sexuality of women from a woman’s point of view. 

In a recent Frieze article discussing an her exhibit  last September at the Montpellier Contemporain, in France, she says,

“I’ve always been a big fan of women owning their sexuality. Men find it threatening when young, beautiful girls make sexual imagery, but if you’re an old lady like me then you can do anything you want. There’s a famous photograph that Robert Mapplethorpe took of Louis Bourgeois holding what looks like a giant dildo (Louise Bourgeois with Fillette (1968), 1982) and everyone thinks it’s adorable, but if she were a young woman then people would be horrified – other women would be attacking her.”

I appreciate the photos in the NYT article. 

PS, they always say DON’T READ THE COMMENTS, yet here are a few left on the NYTimes site as a companion to the article, thankfully some more enlightened than others:

This article is hardly representative and the artwork appalling.

PS: Story is touching but photos are offensive.

Great article. This topic doesn’t get talked about enough. Intimacy is such a marvelous thing. Boo to the negative comments about attraction to aged bodies – aging happens to us all.

I loved the exploration of sex and intimacy as the body changes. The photos were fun, playful, and meant to be overtly sexual.

Good article. Thank you for featuring Marilyn Minter. (editor: yes, thank you).