Artist
Janine Antoni
contemporary artist

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Janine Antoni
contemporary artist

Birth Date

January 19, 1964

Media Editor

Janine Antoni grew up in the Bahamas, so obviously she sculpted a lot of sandcastles as a kid.

For some unfathomable reason she decided to trade paradise for the urban jungle of New York City. Possibly because her mom used to tell her “Janine, you must go out and see the world, because this place that we come from is behind God’s back.” Way harsh.

Her brother once told her the story of Anne Bonnett, an Irish-American woman who masqueraded as a male pirate in the Caribbean during the 18th century. Anne used a ceramic funnel-like apparatus so she could pee while standing up. Janine was absolutely fascinated by this device as a kid. When she came across GottaTinkle (a modern female urinals) it reminded her of Anne Bonnetts’ story. She fantasized about the gargoyles you find on a lot of buildings in NYC...what if those were urinals? What if you could actually pee off of a landmark building? Who wouldn’t want that, I guess? She eventually made herself an actual gargoyle out of which she could pee. Okay, so where can we buy one?

Janine is known for her performance and installation pieces and most of all for making sculptures with her mouth. She literally licked her way through the male-dominated world of Modernism, in a very feminist way. Her sculptures are made out of substances she says are “Pavlovian” to women. Now I don't necessarily start to drool when I see beeswax and hair dye, but she might be right about the chocolate.

With her performances she transforms daily routine into something interesting and extreme. For instance, she doesn't mop the floor the way you and I do (OK fine, I never mop my floor). No, Janine mopped the floor of a gallery with her hair. Also, she slept in a bed in public, registered her brain waves and then weaved the pattern into an expensive blanket the next day.

They call her a "bad girl" in the art world. Fellow power woman Penny Arcade (another awesome performance artist) once said that the art world loves bad girls. But then again, they don’t really want bad girls, “because when you’re bad you tell the truth and people don’t like it when you tell the truth." True that, Penny! 

 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Janine Antoni

Janine Antoni (born January 19, 1964) is a contemporary artist who creates work in performance art, sculpture, and photography. Antoni's works focus mostly on process and the transitions between the making and finished product. She often uses her body, both as an entity, or paying particular attention to body parts as tools, utilizing her mouth, hair, eyelashes, and, through technological scanning, the brain, to perform everyday activities to create her artwork. Her work blurs the distinction between performance art and sculpture.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Janine Antoni.