Eight years later, in art school, I would find a rising grin on my face whenever someone labeled my work as “visceral." I aimed for visceral because I was searching for something to identify with, something that speaks of shame and base humanity. At the time, I didn’t quite know it, but I was beginning to embrace these buried subjects and uncommon conceptions of femininity.
As a female artist, my work is linked to my experiences - as a daughter whose gender disappointed her grandparents, as a subordinate whose sexuality is shamed and silenced. These experiences are not personal, rather they are continually perpetuated upon the female sex. Since ancient Greece, we’ve seen female genitals erased to Barbie-like blanks whereas their male counterparts are accentuated with detail and accuracy. In our patriarchal culture, female sexuality has become symbols of shame, synonymous with irrationality and chaos.  At the same time however, an unrealistic sense of female sexuality is also desired and objectified - women are no longer human but clean and smooth commodities made ready for consumption, much like the ancient Greek vulva-less statues. When held to such ideals, women are driven to wax, to bleach, to surgically alter, but what is gained by submitting to patriarchal paragons? 
I’m interested in artists who subvert these perverse ideals of feminine beauty and virtue, who wholly accept their femininity, who accept that as daughters and mothers, we bleed, we lactate, we get wet. We’re taught to be ashamed of our bodily fluids, but our fluids sustain life.
Having read the art criticisms of Chris Kraus, I became immersed in the recent article written by Leslie Jamison on the author, published in the New Yorker. The article includes a review on one of Kraus’ books, I Love Dick, where the art critic, David Rimanelli, describes the book as “not so much written as secreted.” Secretion, Jamison states, “evokes the book’s bodily admissions… as well as the liquid language often applied to female writing about the self: gushing, vomiting, purging, bleeding.” As I read this sentence, I realized female visual artists also create works in the same liquid language. This repeating fluid imagery made clear to me why I felt such an urge to create “visceral” work in college and why I was drawn to certain female artists.
There’s an unapologetic quality to the works of Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Louise Bourgeois, and Jeanne Dunning. They readily embrace the bodily and are unafraid of the fluids that society is uncomfortable confronting.
Similarly, Tracey Emin takes the female form and simplifies it to the most honest and essential strokes. Hers is not perfected - a quick movement of the brush to outline the woman. In Untitled (Purple Virgin Sketch) (2004), Emin draws a mysterious female figure, who is both flimsy yet bold, fluid yet straightforward. The darkest point in the picture lies in between her legs, and only from there does the viewer make out the most defined stroke on the page - her leg and foot. It is from this dark purple epicenter that one sees the woman. From the soft individual hairs to the larger scribble of unidentifiable pigment, perhaps either shadow or bodily fluid, the densest parts of the minimal picture reveal and highlight the subject’s gender. Here the figure is presented unabashed by her what society deems her darkness, by her fluidity and her fluids.
 By our patriarchal culture, I am referring to both Western culture at large and Eastern Confucian culture.
 These thoughts were inspired by Syreeta McFadden’s reflections upon visiting the Greek and Roman Galleries in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, published in the Guardian.
 I’m thinking of Francois Boucher’s Diana Leaving the Bath (1742) and Jean-Honore Fragonard’s The Swing (1767).
 I’m picturing Italian Renaissance painter, Raphael’s Madonna and Child (1503).