Lyndsay Grimes: Punching Up the Patriarchy
By: Maddy Brennan
Content Warning: Murder, Sexual Violence
Lyndsay Grimes is an American painter who focuses her art on a “quirky tragic beauty.” Her work is popular online for its edgy feminism. As both a painter and feminist myself, I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to converse with her and have a few of my questions about her artwork answered.
Grimes focuses a lot of her artwork on ‘the female gaze’, a theoretical film term used to describe the way a woman might view her world as opposed to a man. The term was created as a response to film theorist Laura Mulvey’s coining of the term ‘male gaze.’ Mulvey’s research on the male gaze concludes that film often depicts women as objects (how men see women) as opposed to representing the female perspective.
“The female gaze is everything to me.”
Grimes is able to incorporate the female gaze into her own visual art by focusing on the perspectives of feminist icons, both real and fictional. She has painted victims of domestic violence like Lorena Bobbit, as well as feminist icons in pop culture such as Simone Biles, CardiB, and Megan Thee Stallion.
Grimes also uses specific techniques that make her artwork unique:
“I love painting these characters on old vintage wallpaper I’ve salvaged from different estate sales, using oil paint as my medium.”
I asked Lyndsay Grimes if there were any pieces she felt especially emotionally attached to, and she responded with her most famous work: a portrait of Aileen Wuornos. Aileen was an American ‘serial killer’ who insisted that she acted in self-defense against sexual violence/assault; the jury didn’t believe her.
“My most viral work is of Aileen Wuornos and it started to weigh on me quite a bit. We were about the same age when she was first imprisoned, and I couldn’t help but think maybe we could have been friends in a different life. It’s a weird feeling starting to make profit off of an abused woman so I’m working on finding the right charity to donate proceeds to.”
“She was a hurt human and is a symbol of taking power back and evening the playing field.”
Lastly, I asked Grimes about the kinds of impacts she hopes her art has on people and their perspectives. She points out that her art tends to “rile some people up.” But, Grimes places a spin on the criticism she receives and concludes that “we need to look deeper into the systemic issues if this topic is hitting such a nerve.”
“It’s more symbolic for me. It’s punching up the patriarchy.”
She also discusses her positive responses, noting that many of her viewers leave comments saying they ‘“feel seen.” She also loves when people share their own artwork inspired by her work.
“Inspiring others to create is the best feeling in the world.”
Check out this talented artist’s page:
(1) @lyndsaygrimescreates on instagram