Not For Them Presents: Marcarson's MedusAmour

Marcarson (Not For Them), MedusAmour. Gouache, oil, charcoal and acrylic on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
 

By JAMES WRIGHT, December 2021

In his new series of works on paper titled “MedusAmour”, artist Marcarson uses the mythological character of Medusa to illustrate what could be seen as toxic traits typified by today’s popular female archetypes. All of the trite overused tropes are represented: jealousy, vanity, obsession with money, desire to fit in etc.  Pretty standard stuff that could have been pulled directly from an incel Reddit thread. The big reveal is actually in title of the series. By tacking “amour” on to the end of Medusa’s name, Carson is admitting that these toxic traits are actually what he is attracted to in a woman. And he is hardly alone. In a culture where clout is currency everyone knows that best way to cash in on the attention economy is to show your tits on the internet. As the queen of clout has taught us, if you post enough ass pics eventually they will invite you to the White House to talk prison reform with the president. 

Marcarson (Not For Them), MedusAmour. Gouache, oil, charcoal and acrylic on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
 

Marcarson (Not For Them), MedusAmour. Gouache, oil, charcoal and acrylic on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
 

So what’s the moral of this story? Perhaps it worth looking into the story of Medusa for clarity. Medusa was a radiant beauty who caught the eye of Poseidon the god of the sea. Poseidon had recently lost a battle for control over Athens to the virgin goddess Athena. To avenge his loss and to spite Athena, Poseidon took Medusa to the sacred temple of Athena and raped her.  Athena was furious that her temple had been defiled, so she cursed Medusa with hair made from deadly serpents and a face so ugly that anyone who looked directly at her would be turned to stone. Even in Ancient Greece they were already slut shaming and victim blaming. 

So herein lies the unconscionable truth hinted at in Carson’s paintings. You can build a media empire and become one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in history, but you’ll still get called a dumb whore for posting a selfie in a bathing suit - damned if you do, dammed if you don’t. 

Shit’s fucked. WM 

 

James Wright

James Leo Wright Jr is the best artist in New York City and the only art critic that still matters.

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