Jaqueton 1742

The photograph Jaqueton 1742 (2010) by Jill Greenberg is part of the Horse series which is not only an homage to the animals but also an exploration of the paradoxical gender identities cast onto the creature. Horses are usually seen as masculine, strong, muscular even phallic. Yet for the artist, horses have been made subservient to humans through domestication and riding apparatuses. “The bits and bridles are used to control and manipulate raw, natural power, much in the same way that women’s movement-restricting apparel, supporting undergarments, and especially high-heeled shoes can be painful and limiting.” The horses’ position in the world relates to the role women continue to occupy.

Greenberg’s artwork focuses on the animal’s body in detail, on cut, shiny hair, strong muscles of Baroque breeds. The colours which have been digitally hand-painted by the artist, are associated with the feminine, yet the formal approach is decidedly masculine. The Horse series investigated the persistent dual gender representations as well as parallels with the treatment of women.

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