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About This Artwork
It's a New Age, 1992
Acrylic and oil on canvas
162.56 x 137.16 cm (64 x 54 in.)
Norman Wait Harris Purchase Fund, 2006.68
Sue Williams’s darkly sarcastic caricature paintings address tough topics such as domestic violence, rape, pornography, and misogyny. In such early paintings as It’s A New Age, characteristic scrawls, doodles, erasures, graphic representations of the body, and text convey the artist’s own scathingly critical thoughts. Her voice, which takes the form of transcribed, seemingly unedited notes, addresses her identity as both a woman and a painter. Willams uses verbal puns and scatological imagery to comment on the degradation of the female body—through sexual violence and abuse—and the psychological trauma of self-loathing. The artist parodies the politics of “choice”—she declares in the painting that she is “free to choose” and “I chose fat thighs”—by articulating personal struggle.