“The woman came out of the man’s rib; not by the feet to be trampled upon, not by the head to be superior, but by the side to be equal, under the arm to be protected, next to the heart to be loved.”
Art is a powerful medium through which artists express thoughts, emotions and social criticism.
In this article, we will explore how contemporary art addresses one of our society’s darkest and most pressing issues: gender violence.
Through a variety of artistic mediums, from painting to performance, we will discover how some works of art denounce violence against women, raising questions and stimulating reflection on the injustices that still afflict many women around the world.
- “Susanna e i Vecchioni” (1610) di Artemisia Gentileschi
Artemisia Gentileschi, also a victim of rape, painted “Susanna and the Elders” to represent the story of Susanna, surprised by two men who threaten to accuse her of adultery. This work highlights Susanna’s desperate struggle to protect herself from her attackers and raises questions about justice and the condition of women in the society of her time.
- “Unos Cuantos Piquetitos” (1935) di Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo painted this work after reading about a brutal stabbing by a husband who justified his violence by calling it “a few small stabs and nothing more.” This work captures the folly of this senseless justification and questions us about the excuses that are too often made for domestic violence.
- “Mimetismo” (1960) di Remedios Varo
Nell’opera “Mimetismo” di Remedios Varo, vediamo una donna la cui pelle si fonde con una sedia, mentre mani e piedi diventano di legno. Questa rappresentazione riflette la noia e la rassegnazione delle donne in ambienti che non valorizzano la loro individualità, sollevando interrogativi sulla liberazione femminile e sulla società patriarcale.
- “Rhythm 0” (1974) di Marina Abramović
Marina Abramović offered herself to the public as an object in a performance called “Rhythm 0,” exposing the ease with which people can become violent when it comes to freely disposing of another human being. This work denounces violence against women, highlighting how they are often considered “less than” and subject to persecution and abuse.
- “Irresistible” (1993) di Sue Williams
Sue Williams addresses the physical and verbal violence faced by women in her work “Irresistible,” depicting a woman covered in bruises and violent graffiti. This work pushes us to reflect on the variety of violence that women can suffer, both physical and psychological.
Regina José Galindo uses her body as a metaphor for the atrocities committed against indigenous women during the civil war in Guatemala, crying out for memory and justice.
- Spose in Viaggio – Brides on Tour (2008) di Pippa Bacca e Silvia Moro
In March 2008, Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo, known as Pippa Bacca, and Silvia Moro, undertook a daring hitchhiking journey through eleven countries plagued by armed conflict and poverty.
Their goal was to bring a message of hope and rebirth, symbolized by the white wedding dress they brought with them, they intended to symbolically wash the dress in Jerusalem, trying to erase the scars left by the war in those tormented places.
However, on March 31, 2008, Pippa was the victim of violence and murder at the hands of a truck driver in Turkey. He was only thirty-three years old.
Despite her untimely death, Pippa Bacca embodies the desire for a world where women can be free from fear and move on their own.
- “Le Scarpe Rosse” (2012) di Elina Chauvet
The artist used 33 pairs of red shoes to represent missing and murdered women who were victims of violence. This work was born from a tragic personal experience and symbolizes collective participation against violence against women.
- “Le Sagome Bianche” (2018) di Desx
In Rome, a mural by Luca Ximenes, known as Desx, represents 107 white silhouettes, each with the name, date of birth and death of a victim of gender violence. This work reminds us of the importance of combating violence against women and working towards a future free of violence.e
The artworks mentioned in this article raise important questions about justice, women’s liberation and collective responsibility in the fight against violence against women.
We share these stories and support organizations and initiatives that fight gender violence to create a safer and fairer world for all.
What do you think about the impact of art in the fight against gender violence?