An interview with (psychedelic) (surrealist) painter Hannah Yata
February 1, 2024 4:18 AM   Subscribe

"I grew up in a highly controlled and religious family where women’s sexuality and freedom to express oneself was highly suppressed. As I matured and recognized how women were objectified, demonized, and dehumanized by my old religion and society I wanted to take these uncomfortable issues and channel them into an artistic dialogue. One of the significant ways I found my voice was through the body. Through this vessel I began by creating a world where feminine nudity and sexuality felt free, unashamed, celebrated, and powerful." [all links in this post NSFW]

A 2018 interview with Yata. A 2018 video interview [YT]. A 2014 interview. The artist's site.

NSFW: Yata's paintings frequently reference, include, or remake the female body, typically nude.

Note that the web is full of prompts for GenAI-based art using Yata's name to generate works "in the style of." Yata herself works in traditional media and, as far as I know, has nothing to do with AI art. "AI" where it appears in links I have added to this post reflect "Artist Interview," to the best of my knowledge.
posted by cupcakeninja (10 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I wonder what Franger would have to say about her paintings.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:41 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]

Holy cow, those are fantastic, beautiful, paintings! Nice and large, too. I love being able to get lost in a big canvas.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:43 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]

Right there with you, Thorzdad. The first time I saw photos of her painting in the studio, many years ago now, I did a double-take. While any modern atelier-trained oil painter will attend carefully with brushes of all sizes to every square inch of the surface, etc., etc., it is another thing to see that kind of detail at that scale. Of course there are other artists currently producing large/monumental figurative canvases (Wiley, Yuskavage, Nerdrum, Desiderio, etc.), but the level of activity in Yata's paintings at that scale is so striking. Wiley's blend of figure and ornamental background on a large scale is the closest contemporary thing I've seen in person.
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:12 AM on February 1

I am reminded of Kent Monkman in terms of large canvases laden with symbolic detail; Monkman in the service of indigineity.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:18 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]

Those must be amazing to see in person.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:29 AM on February 1

If you like the psychedelia/body merging with the cosmos thing, Alex Grey is pretty great too.
posted by lalochezia at 6:18 AM on February 1

Oooh, trippy: I love these.
posted by outgrown_hobnail at 6:18 AM on February 1

Archetypal and moving
posted by DJZouke at 8:32 AM on February 1

Absolutely gorgeous.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:20 AM on February 1

ooh these are really beautiful!! such intensity of colors and so much dynamism. It's lovely to hear stories of people, of women, growing out from under the oppressive, self-hating messages they were indoctrinated with. very powerful and life-affirming stuff here. never underestimate the power of beauty!
posted by supermedusa at 10:50 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]

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