I like to think that in taking up brush or pen, chisel or camera, women assert a claim to the representation of women that western culture long ago ceded to male genius and patriarchal perspectives, and that in turning to the image in the mirror they take another step towards the elaboration of a sexualized subjective female identity.
—Whitney Chadwick 1
Lisa Brice: It’s a Feeling Thing
By Laura Smith
For any figurative painter working today, the specters of art history haunt their brushstrokes. These specters—we all know—are predominantly men: men frequently painting women, who are frequently nude. This is the slippery territory that South African painter Lisa Brice chooses to inhabit. And not just inhabit, but complicate, muddy, and turn on its head in refreshingly satisfying ways. Brice’s paintings and drawings are populated by scantily clad women; in groups, or alone, they saunter, slouch, smoke, pose and paint—themselves—in interiors that feel either privately domestic or behind the scenes of something public. Knickers halfway down—or removed entirely—they often appear to be mid-costume-change, grasping cigarettes, a beer, a clutch of paintbrushes, looking either to one another or into mirrors, assuredly studying their own reflections.