This painting references cave painting, prehistoric fertility goddesses, and discoveries in the physiology of female arousal circa 1997. It was inspired in part by the novel “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides, which is the account of a person born with ambiguous genitalia and their journey toward self-acceptance and belonging. In the 1990s researchers using MRI techniques were able to determine the size and extent of the female clitoris, revealing it as analogous to the male reproductive organs. A model of this structure hovers in the void over the delta of venus. It’s upturned delta answers the downturned delta of the mons venus, and invokes the gendered Masonic symbol of challis and blade.
Visually I was intrigued by the similarity in structure to the furcula, or wishbone, in birds, which enables flight. The fertility goddess figure in “Wishbone” pulls in ecstatic suspense at the wings of a golden wishbone. External forces will break the bone to the right side, to the left, or some place in the middle. The ornaments on the frame were designed after the stages of urogenital development in the human embryo. The ornaments on the right are male, on the left female, on the top and bottom neutral.
Oil on Linen, Artist Made Frame, 36 x 53 inches