Debby Friday has released a new video for ‘What A Man’.
It’s a cut from her latest album ‘Good Luck’, out now via Sub Pop, arriving ahead of a couple of UK shows at Bristol’s Crofters Rights (2nd May) and London’s Corsica Studios (3rd).
“The ‘WHAT A MAN’ music video is loosely based on the famous essay, Ways of Seeing, by English art critic John Berger as well as paintings by the Italian Baroque painter, Artemisia Gentileschi (in particular, her iconic work “Judith Slaying Holofernes”).
“In 1972, Berger released “Ways of Seeing” as both a television series via the BBC and a book. Both the series and the text function as image-based explorations of the depiction of women in Western art and culture. This work has been massively influential in cultural theory, as it introduced the concept of “the male gaze”.
“Gentileschi is distinctive for being one of the only female professional artists of her era. Her paintings draw from myths and Biblical stories and almost always feature women as protagonists and equals to men. Arguably her most famous work, Judith Slaying Holofernes, is thought to be a self-portrait that depicts her as Judith slaying a Holofernes who resembles Agostino Tassi, a man who raped her when she was 17.
“Both the essay and the paintings served as frameworks for the video. The same way that Gentileschi painted herself into images of other women is the same way I feel that every woman can see ourselves in much of Gentileschi’s story and her work. To be a woman and an artist in this world is to be, in a way, a shapeshifter. You take on the shape of whatever and whoever is looking at you – whether that be a camera, a phone, a lover, a thief, a killer. Always and all at once, you are a spectacle, a flower, a treasure, a ditch, a bitch, a miracle.
“When I look at Artemisia’s paintings, I feel myself transported and transformed into the emotional field of Judith, of Jael, of Susanna. Her hand is my hand, her sword is my sword, her pain is my pain. I have always identified with women who were wild and brazen – survivors, people who exist and persist despite. I have always looked up to women who were willing to be ‘bad’ in the name of living thoroughly.”
Check out the video below.