Lingerie items embroidered with violent rap lyrics/Zoe Buckman

Hip-hop meets feminism in this artist’s striking work.

Ivana Lucic   14 July 2016 09:47

Brilio.net - We all love a good rap, and that’s a fact. We sing along to the lyrics, pretending we are next to Biggie on a wild night in NYC or Tupac at a club in LA. But for half the listeners out there, myself included, hip-hop lyrics often pose a dilemna. Do empowered women really sign lyrics such as Eminem’s ‘Shake That Ass’:

“I’m looking for a girl with a body and a sexy strut /

Wanna get it popping baby step right up/

Some girls they act retarded/

Some girls are ‘bout it /

I’m looking for a girl that will do whatever the f***

I say every day she will be giving it up.”

See what I mean? Whether it’s sexually degrading or physically violent, it seems that hip-hop has it out for the women.

Cue London native Zoe Buckman. Her new exhibition “Every Curve” juxtaposes often-violent rap lyrics with delicate and very feminine lingerie. Silk slips, lace garters and cone bras are elegantly embroidered with crude lyrics, which has a good few onlookers scratching their heads and smiling slyly to themselves.

Londoner Zoe Buckman is behind the exhibition at Papillion Art in Los Angeles. Credit: Courtesy of/via thecreatorsproject.vice.com

Buckman sources the garments from vintage stores or online, including through ebay and etsy. “The garments have had their own lives before I've worked on them, and by embroidering the lyrics onto them ... I'm also drawing on a history of female and feminist expression,” Buckman told The Creators Project.

All the lingerie was owned by someone, somewhere before coming to Buckman. Credit: Courtesy of/via zoebuckman.com

In her younger years, Buckman grew up listening to the kings of modern hip-hop, including Biggie and Tupac. The project seemed natural to her as she spent her high school years rocking out in lace slips over denim and embroidering her pencil case.

When she had a child, the clash of motherhood and violent lyrics struck Buckman: “When you're cooing into your baby's ear lyrics like 'Bitches I like em brainless, guns I like them stainless steel,' it's hard not to find issue with the messaging and want to use your artwork to explore this dialogue.”

Juxtaposition of lyrics and femininity makes you think. Credit: Courtesy of/via zoebuckman.com

The lyrics take on a whole new life in the exhibition. “Welcome to my center, honeys feel it deep in their placenta”, a line from Biggie, hits home when it’s hand-sewn into a pair of panties. The imagery is striking and the poetic conflict brimming. The words seem less violent with their delicate charms but words are words are words, and some just hit closer to home.

Buckman’s work illustrates how easily femininity is degraded in modern music. Now, the next step is to make this artwork wearable.

Credit: Courtesy of/via thecreatorsproject.vice.com

 

 

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