In creating Jill Greenberg: Horse, the artist returns to her original muse. A perennial obsession now shared with her young daughter, the horse began to ignite in the artist consideration of how the bit, halter, and bridle are used to harness and control these animals. Having found scholarly literature comparing the way horses function in society to the means through which women have historically been oppressed, the "scold's bridle", a medieval punishment for mouthy women, became a point of intrigue and commonality. In depicting these animals, Greenberg continually addresses issues of sexuality, vacillating between highlighting the animals' masculinity and femininity. Phallic necks and muscles are, in the end, balanced out with soft, pastel colours and tones.
about the artist
Since the age of 10, Jill Greenberg has staged photographs and created characters using the mediums of drawing, painting, sculpture, film and photography. She is known worldwide for her uniquely human animal portraits, which intentionally anthropomorphize her subjects, as well as her infamous series, "End Times" which struck a nerve in its exploration of religious, political, and environmental themes exploiting the raw emotion of toddlers in distress. Her newest work marks a return to the postmodern feminist theory that inspired her senior thesis, "The Female Object" as an art student at RISD in the 80's: "The disciplinary project of femininity" and the predetermined failure of all women who attempt to "succeed" at it. As a working photographer she travails to straddle the line between assignment work and her own personal work. On one notable occasion, a conflict arose when she was assigned to photograph the Republican candidate for presidency in the summer 2008, at the height of his popularity; after delivering the assignment exactly as requested, she chose to speak out in the form of agit-prop outtakes on her own website, which she was legally allowed and morally compelled to do. The violent backlash from her political art has informed this return to the question of what is tolerated by women in our culture.