American, born 1964
In Untitled, Rachel Lachowicz uses blood-red lipstick to comment on Minimalism, an art movement known for redefining painting and sculpture by heralding everyday, “non-art” materials. Lachowicz parodies this group of mostly male artists through her use of common cosmetic materials, including lipstick, eye shadow, and facial powder as well as lingerie and mirrors. Aware that women are judged by narrow, superficial standards, she pointedly repurposes tools women commonly use in order to present themselves as desirable to men. Her choices express her concerns about the inequalities she observes between men and women, and the resulting art is often masculine and feminine simultaneously. In works such as Untitled, Lachowicz infuses humor and satire into issues of gender and politics, suggesting that power is available to women even within a patriarchal society, if almost exclusively by more cosmetic and artificial means.
Object label from a 2007 installation