In celebration of the Visions of Venus exhibition held at the Zhou B Art Center, in Chicago, Illinois, from April 20th through June 8th of 2018, I’m highlighting a selection of ten artworks to wet your appetite for this must-see exhibition.
A wonderful variety of artwork inspired by the premise of Visions of Venus will be shown that include paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures created by fiftythree artists from the United States and abroad.
Throughout history, Venus has stood as the great archetype of love, beauty, enticement, seduction, sexuality, eroticism, fertility, desire and prosperity. As the goddess of love, she was seen as having blessed the unions of mortals by taming and assimilating the male essence and blending it with the female. As a fertility symbol, she was revered as the mother of the Roman people. As a “changer of hearts,” she was seen as a transformative force that encouraged her followers to cherish their sexuality and celebrate it in the context of love, marriage and family. In yet another incarnation, she was seen as the motivator of women on behalf of the military and the state. In all of her aspirations and intents, she is still perceived today as the embodiment of all things feminine and the complementary opposite of her male cognate, Mars. Venus, whether in a contemporary or classical incarnation, represents the female way of being, seeing and creating.
The accompanying issue of PoetsArtists Magazine to this exhibition features work of artists and writers in the depiction of the eternal feminine, both as a subject (Venus’s Visions) and as an object (Visions of Venus). Whether the idea is drawn from classical mythology or the ether of cyberspace, all artists present their finest depiction based on this timeless construct.
About the Curator
Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt is the co-curator of The Bennett Collection, a collection of contemporary figurative realist paintings of women that she co-created with her collaborator and spouse, Steven Alan Bennett. She is a student of classical mythology and well-known presence among collectors of figurative realist paintings.