Take a long look at the photo to the right before you continue reading, because I can only really go into so much detail about the…ahem…medium. Artist Ugly Shyla has taken performance art to a new level. While the immediate attention-grabbing factor is powerful, there are meaningful messages in these masterful menstruosities. (And they’re not all menstruosities.) Ugly Shyla combines art, politics, gender, and humanity into some seriously shocking statements.
Recommended viewing, for those so inclined (and not shown here), is her artistic statement on female circumcision. You’ll never be able to pass by a story about it again. Shyla does not claim to be weaving a single thread of meaning throughout her work—and hasn’t articulated an artist statement—however, she understands the power she holds.
“I know what the purpose of me making some of the things is, sometimes it could be to make people face the horror of what something really is. It’s one thing to tell somebody abusing animals is wrong, but you wave something that looks like a skinned cat in their face and trust me they will ‘get it’.” And oh, do we get it.