Ana Mendieta was a Cuban-American performance artist, sculptor, painter, and video artist, and is best known for her “earth-body” art work. She was born on November 18, 1948 in Havana, Cuba, and died on September 8, 1985 in New York when she was just 36 years old. Although Mendieta was originally born in Havana, she arrived in the United States as a refugee in 1961, shortly before to the beginning of the Cuban Revolution.
As I have already mentioned, Ana Mendieta was best known for her “earth-body” art work. Before seeing her art, I never knew you could use your own body to make “art”. So I analyzed her art and the meanings behind them. A lot of her art was autobiographical and focused on themes such as feminism, life, death, violence, place, and belonging. A lot of her work also focused on the four basic elements of nature. She also often focused on having a spiritual and physical connection with the Earth. During her lifetime, she produced over 200 works of art using Earth as a sculptural medium.
In a lot of Mendieta’s works of arts, she uses her body to send a message, and a lot of them are hard to look at because they are so dark and disturbing. For example, I found a picture of her peeing in a urinal, which I think she wants to show that women are equal to men. In another picture I saw, she posed as a tree, symbolizing herself as nature, and that people and nature are the same.
In today’s world, we deal with a lot of issues regarding feminism and Ana Mendieta really showed her opinion about it. Maybe there will be more artists like her in the future. I feel like she was comfortable going to extreme lengths to voice her opinion, and because of that, I feel like maybe as a world, we are leaning towards feminism.