Controversial. Exasperating. Anti-feminist feminist. Contrarian. Maverick. All words used to describe Camille Paglia who’s been teaching art and writing about culture, high and low, since 1972.
Although she considers herself a feminist, she has long differed with many of the movement’s “founding mothers” for what she considers to be their puritanical excesses. She also considers herself a Democrat, but will be voting for Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, this year.
Her sixth latest book is called Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars. In it she highlights 29 works of art ranging from painting to sculpture to performance to digital that she sees as definitive. Some are familiar – Nefertari’s tomb, Monet’s Irises, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon – and some are unexpected – Renee Cox’s performance piece Chillin’ with Liberty. All were the result of a meticulous selection process that took her five years to complete.
Perhaps her most controversial assertion in this volume is that George Lucas, yes, that George Lucas, is the world’s greatest living artist. She bases this conclusion on his pioneering digital work that has revolutionized the way we most often view images now.