Check out the artwork on display at Shanghai Restaurant
- Ottawa Travel Guide
- Wednesday, 14 November 2012 16:42
Who is the last person who should be dressed in drag? To Julie Cruikshank, an Ottawan artist, it might be male politicians, but that surely didn't stop her from painting 20 portraits of politicians, from Mitt Romney to Robert Ford, and displaying them on the walls of Shanghai Restaurant. The project, "Political Femme," will be on display from November 15 through January 1, 2013.
About the work
In her personal statement, Cruikshank ponders the issue as to why, in her opinion, femininity is something that male politicians fear.
"If a powerful male politician is afraid of the feminine, why does that give him the authority to decide how much control a woman has over her body or whether a queer couple can marry?" the statement reads. "What makes stereotypical maleness the only viable option? If putting on a dress has the power to make him weak, then surely femininity possesses a great deal of strength."
The paintings are, at first glance, laughable, but the artist did not want to poke fun at politicians by portraying them as drag queens - complete with bright blue eyeshadow and deep red lipstick. Instead, she simply wanted people to think about the relationship between being feminine and being a politician, and where the two seemingly stark differences collide.
In an interview with Apt613, Cruikshank explained why even as a Canadian artist, American politics play a role in the lives of Ottawa residents and those who live all over the country. Although the outcome of this election did not have a direct effect on Canadian politics, it no less has an indirect effect on the nation's opinion of the United States.
About the process
As far as her latest work goes, Cruikshank told the news source about the process she went through to create each painting.
"They were really fun to paint," she said. "It was a really enjoyable experience to paint them. They're quirky, and they're nice little pieces. They're fun, and even if they don't necessarily agree with the message, I feel like it's engaging work, and people will like the way it's painted, I hope."
About the gallery space
The Shanghai Restaurant has always supported local artists in Ottawa, and no matter when people decide to travel to Ontario, they can expect to see stunning artwork while they eat delicious Chinese food. Be sure to stay up to date with what's on display!