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Marilyn Minter on Overcoming Censorship and Bringing Back Pubic Hair

Chloe Stead: ‘All Wet’, your first institutional solo exhibition in France, features the video Green Pink Caviar (2009) alongside 12 paintings from ‘Bathers’, a series you have been working on since 2014. What was the genesis of this project?

Marilyn Minter: It all started when writer and curator Neville Wakefield was appointed creative director of special projects at Playboy magazine and asked me if I wanted to contribute something. At the time, some of my students at the School of Visual Arts in New York were having their pubic hair lasered off and I thought: ‘Well, I’ll take photographs and show them that it can be attractive, too.’ We found amateur models of all different races, and I shot them over a period of a few months. Playboy paid for everything – these were probably US$10,000 shoots – but, when the art director saw the pictures, they hated them. [Laughs.] I still really wanted to make a case for bringing pubic hair back, so I decided to make a whole series of paintings that would be beautiful enough to put in your living room...

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