Artist Essay on Bobi Lee: Feminist Cat Lover
While studying Bobi Lee’s work, I learned that she is adventurous in trying new ways of making art. Bobi’s uses many types of mediums in her art, for instance, Bobi uses painting, screen printing, sculptures, ceramics, illustration, and graphic design. Bobi explained that she didn’t start off as such a multi-talented artist. Bobi’s art journey started as an illustrator in art school. However, Bobi started to explore different forms of art and eventually expanded her knowledge of art. Most of Bobi’s art explores political, feminist, and abstract ideas; Bobi explains that her two main muses are performance and prostitution. One of Bobi’s recent work has been painting portraits of drag queens who she has met during her journey into the concept of performance and prostitution. Although I won’t be able to analyze every single one of Bobi’s art pieces, I’d like to note that she uses her art to respond to current events.
While observing Bobi Lee’s screen printing, I noticed that Bobi uses a lot of bright colors that contrast with black and white. For instance, in the first image (“Meow”) Bobi depicted a skull with a cat beanie and hair. The skull is very feminine because of the bright pink colors, long lashes, and hair. The background is a solid beige color, which highlights main attraction: the skull. Because I don’t have a life-sized version of the screen print, I’m not sure of the scale but I assume that it is large for display reasons. The lines appear to be clean and curvy. As for the second image (“Just a girl”), there are many bright colors such as pink, red, purple, and yellow. The images show traditionally feminine concepts such as lipstick, shoes, a mirror, and the words that read: Girl Power. This piece of art seems to be a collage style that looks like cut-outs of a magazine. Some of the images that stand out to me are: The Spice Girls, Barbie logo, “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” and the Pop Rocks logo. The images seem to be layered with inspirational quotes; one of the quotes is my Marilyn Monroe and another one reads: The World is my Oyster.
In the screen print “Meow”, Bobi is attempting to combine some of her favorite concepts like feminist art and edgy images like a skull. The name of the piece “Meow,” is most likely referring to the cat shaped beanie that the skull is wearing. Also, after reading Bobi’s biographic information on her webpage, I learned that she loves cats which is why she incorporates cat images in her art. In “Just a Girl”, Bobi seems to be paying homage to women’s trends during the early 2000s. This is similar to most of Bobi’s work in which she plays with feminine images/concepts and how women are perceived. The words in the image promote women empowerment and feminist ideas. Although I don’t see the year that the second image was created, it is interesting that the early 2000s trends have made a comeback in 2020.
Overall, Bobi’s work made me think about how I could also respond to the current events around me. For instance, many people have made art pieces based on the pandemic and political issues that we are currently experiencing. I admire that Bobi can express herself in a beautiful way and also get her point across. Personally, I also really love cats so I was able to appreciate the cats incorporated in Bobi’s screen prints, which is why I was drawn towards those specific images. I find Bobi’s journey inspiring because I’ve always wanted to make art but I thought it was so intimidating. I like the fact that Bobi isn’t afraid of working with different materials or to get her hands dirty. Because I want to go into the education field, I’ve been thinking about how I’d use art in the classroom. I love the idea that students can use creative project to both express themselves and also present on a related class topic. I’ve had many teachers/professors that have assigned a creative project at the end of the semester and it’s usually the most memorable part of the class. In conclusion, I hope that more people can view Bobi’s art because I know it will start interesting conversations about art and social issues.