Susan Rennie Subverts the Male Gaze

Artist's Work on View in Venice, California

By: - Jun 16, 2023

Long before the Brooklyn Museum discovered the notorious Hannah Gadsby of Nanette and engaged her services as a curator of Pablo Picasso, Susan Rennie was gripped by the idea that art most often was created by the male gaze.  

Susan Rennie says: “In 2005 I retired from academia and resumed my true avocation––photography, leading to three shows featuring my Venice neighborhood. In 2009 a big breakthrough came when I discovered the iPhone as an innovative art medium. This allowed me to go where I hadn’t imagined: synthesizing radical feminism with cultural creativity, digitally inserting a feminist self into the patriarchal world of classic western art––reversing the centuries of the male representation of women as objects of their desires and values, shaping my insertions of myself in a way that satirizes and taunts the male gaze. 

“I create the images with an iPhone X, starting with a 'screen grab' of the original painting from Wiki-Art. Next, I imagine and assume the persona I will insert into the painting to expose the male gaze, or the male definition of female gender. Then I set up a pose for Paula Lumbard, who snaps a photo of me with the iPhone. 

“With the two images the hard work begins: embedding my body into the painting in a way that achieves continuity of style, palette, and texture with the original. For this I use the iPhone apps Superimpose, iColorama, Retouch, LightBrush, PhotoCopier.”.

On display at the  Duron Gallery in Venice, CA, June 17-July 8, 2023.

Contact Susan Rennie