Marilyn Minter - Contemporary Art and Design Evening Sale New York Tuesday, March 3, 2015 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Gavlak Projects, West Palm Beach

  • Exhibited

    West Palm Beach, Gavlak Projects, Marilyn Minter, December 2006

  • Literature

    J. Burton, M. Higgs, Marilyn Minter, New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 1st Edition, 2007, p. 107 (illustrated), back cover (illustrated)
    J. Burton, M. Higgs, Marilyn Minter, New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2nd Edition, 2010, p. 105 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I do try to seduce people with my paintings. I want you to get sucked in by their lusciousness.”
    Marilyn Minter, 2007

    Marilyn Minter has said that upon approaching her paintings, the slick, slippery images visually fall apart, melting away into abstraction. Her isolated and cropped images of women’s sandaled feet, glossy lips and wet, colorful eyelids have come to signify the essence of glamorous sexuality. Beneath her seductive compositions lies a splash of mud, a piece of urban grit that combats the appeal of her opulent fantasies. The blurring effect brings an unexpected reality to her paintings, making them seem like snapshots of an individual caught in the midst of indiscretion. Confronting the sexual nature of her work, Minter stated that “Waves of shame would come over me. I was trying to explore areas that hadn’t been explored…I was just asking questions, but everyone wanted me to come up with the answers. I learned that there are no answers when it comes to talking about sexuality. It will spit in your eye; you cannot program it; you can’t make rules about it. It is very messy and very untidy.” (Marilyn Minter in Marilyn Minter, New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 1st Edition, 2007, p. 20)

    The present lot, Wave, 2006 catches a woman’s sandaled foot and red toenails as they slam defiantly into a dark, murky puddle. Sexily clad, dirty women’s feet is a common theme for the artist ,who explains that “if you’re dancing in a disco all night your feet get dirty, even if you have the most expensive shoes on.” (Marilyn Minter in Marilyn Minter, New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 1st Edition, 2007, p. 27) This picture’s expensive shoe is a heeled, strappy sandal, rendered in snakeskin teal and adorned around the ankle with hanging, rhinestone embellishments. The pitch-black background and reflective water brings the recognizable tactility of an urban night to sight. Executed in enamel on metal, the slick application of paint brings to mind the wet, cold puddle that has been displaced by our femme fatale’s foot and which almost splashes ferociously out of the front of the picture plane. Minter utilizes enamel paint for its physicality, explaining that “When most people work with enamel paint, they work with it as a hard-edge paint surface like a Pop Art Image…around 1995 or a little earlier, I started using ‘touch.’ I used my index finger to physically soften the paint, so I could literally model with it…I think there is something special and specific about touch: it’s real. It’s clear that my fingerprints are all over the paintings. But when I am physically making a painting, I am just thinking that this is the only way I can get the image, the only way I can model the paint, the only way to make enamel do what I want it to.” (Marilyn Minter in Marilyn Minter, New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 1st Edition, 2007, p. 62) Thus, even the medium and application of the paint brings another layer of sensuality to Minter’s final image.

    By highlighting moments of what appear to be untainted, sexual flawlessness Minter in fact wants to draw our attention to the collective nature of human imperfection and the mishaps that attend the pleasures of life. Minter is in artistic pursuit of the “moment when everything goes wrong…it’s when the model sweats. There’s lipstick on the teeth and the makeup’s running. (Marilyn Minter in C. McCormick, “Fashion Crisis,” Paper, March 2005, p. 58) Her seemingly faultless technique gives way to the “dirty realism,” the aggressive power of femininity and her “unwavering pursuit of excessive sensation and rauchy surfaces…” (B. Schwabsky, “Beauty and Desecration,” Art in America, March 2007, p. 137)

    With the present lot, Minter explains that by focusing her close attention on these isolated, dirty but stylish feet, the painting consequently becomes “more universal…it’s like getting a little closer, getting a little more detailed. Zooming in. It’s just more real somehow. And this realism is a part of our constant failure. No one escapes, male or female. You’re going to have a lipstick smear on your tooth; you’re going to have a button missing; your hem is going to come undone. All the images that we see in the culture are really ten seconds of fantasy.” (Marilyn Minter in Marilyn Minter, New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 1st Edition, 2007, p. 24) Wave, 2010 catches our figure’s dirty feet, strapped by designer heels, running either to or from her ten seconds of fame and fantasy.



enamel on metal
73 1/2 x 57 in. (186.7 x 144.8 cm)
Signed, titled and dated "'WAVE' M. MINTER 2006" on the reverse.

$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for $269,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale, Contemporary Art
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Meaghan Roddy
Head of Sale, Design
New York
+ 1 212 940 1266

Contemporary Art and Design Evening Sale

New York Auction 3 March 2015 6pm