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Marilyn Minter, an Artist Who Resonates and Repels

The images are compelling — a watery blur of color and shading. But collectors don’t rush to own these Marilyn Minter paintings when they realize what they depict: vaginas.

“I’ve been making them for about 10 years now,” the artist said in a recent interview at her garment district studio, her willowy, otherworldly presence accentuated by pale skin and mischievous eyes. “I think they’re really beautiful. But nobody wants them.”

To some extent this is a metaphor for Minter’s entire career. The 74-year-old artist has been making sexually explicit paintings and photographs that are both challenging and compelling for nearly four decades. Only gradually has the world begun to catch up with her colorful, sensual images of mouths, eyes and body parts. And she has helped spur frank discussions of gender identity, sexuality, diversity and reproductive rights....

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