Marilyn Minter, Climber, 2005, C-print, 50" x 36"
Marilyn Minter, Bubblegum, 2005, C-print, 50" x 36"
Marilyn Minter, Gimme, 2008, C-print, 36" x 50"
Marilyn Minter, Goldi, 2004, C-print, 52" x 39"
Minter was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and raised in Florida in an upper-middle-class household. As an undergraduate at the University of Florida, Minter took photographs of her mother that drew the attention of visiting instructor Diane Arbus.
Minter moved to New York City in 1976, after earning a master of fine arts degree at Syracuse University. She became involved in the nightclub scene in Manhattan of the late 1970s and early 1980s. She also taught in a Catholic boys' school. In 1985 she began working in art again.
While still a student in Florida, Marilyn Minter created a series of photographic studies that involved her drug-addicted mother, which is now praised. Through the 1980s, she explored Pop-derived pictures often incorporating human sexuality, setting the tone for many of her works.
In 1989 Minter created a series of works based on images from hardcore pornography. She received much criticism for this from feminists who saw it as an expression of the victimization and objectification of women, rather than a statement on the absurdity of such images.
In 1990, her infamy intensified when her television ad, 100 Food Porn came out. Through the 1990s she refined her works, which despite still having pornographic undertones, exuded a sense of glamour and high-fashion.
In 2005 Minter had a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which focused on her recent works - hyperrealistic close-ups of seemingly glamourous images, including makeup-laden lips, eyes, and toes.
March 2006 Minter took out ad space on four billboards in Manhattan’s Chelsea district. The billboards presented photographs of high heels kicking around in dirty water, and stayed up in Chelsea for a month. Minter also had a spot in the 2006 Whitney Biennial.
In 2007, her first retrospective monograph was published, and she had shows in Sweden, the U.K., Spain, and France. A series of photographs she took of Pamela Anderson, commissioned by the art quarterly Parkett, were later featured on the cover of Zoetrope: All-Story. Her book involved a heavy gloss, mutli-colored paper making it feel almost wet, setting the book apart.
In 2008 Marylin Minter collaborated with international skate/street wear brand Supreme to produce three limited edition skate decks.
Her photographs and works often include sexuality and erotic imagery. Her method of painting involves many coatings of translucent enamel paint on metal to produce a luminous, almost hallucinatory finish. Her photographs are all taken in order to create a painting, yet sometimes she uses the photograph as is, without converting it. She does not use a graphic-editing program on her images, nor does she crop them, but rather uses different aspects of the image to create the painting.
“I think that whenever you make something that looks good, people want to underestimate it. They immediately want to dismiss it. If it looks really good, there’s an automatic rejection. But it doesn’t really matter, because I know that these paintings are going to look good in 20 or 30 or 50 years. So if people don’t get it now, they’re going to get it sooner or later. "
To see more of her work, click here.