Sweet Thing, Mother of Jesus

April 2, 2010

sweet thing
Sweet Thing, Mother of Jesus, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Oil on Canvas, 2010

Throughout history there has been a forced duality on women’s sexuality: saintly, sexlessness or, over-sexed harlot. Women are still having their sexuality judged as either prudish or whorish. This painting is my expression of that dualism. I chose to present the woman figure as “Mother Mary” because the deification of a woman dehumanizes her just much as the demonization of a woman – like, “Sweet Thing”, the prostitute character in Nina Simone’s “Four Women”. Women should be perceived as human, not saints or whores.

7 Responses to “Sweet Thing, Mother of Jesus”

  1. Danielle said

    This is so bold. Just completely fearless work. I think too often we don’t like to think of people as complicated, especially when it comes to women and especially when it comes to women of color. I read something a few days ago that has become stuck in my craw:

    “…Concepts have a way of superimposing themselves on persons and the person is obliterated.”

    I think this absolutely applies when it comes to women and our sexuality as well as our overall identities. Too often we’re seen as concepts (Madonna/Whore, Queen/Jezebel, plaything/wife-material) and not as complex, complicated people who can’t be labeled and categorized so easily.

    Or something.

    What I mean to say is…I love this painting and the rationale for it, lady.

  2. sawandi said

    love this

  3. p.eden said

    AMAZING!!!! love ove the analysis!

  4. danielle said


  5. trE said

    The look on her face screams, “I wish you’d say something sideways or out or character to me.” The colors used, although calm in tone are bold and jolt out at you. I think this is a powerful statement and a beautifully expressive painting.

  6. jada said

    i love what you did, very bold.

  7. Wow this is great-reminds me of the Lil Kim image from her first album which is a great way to depict the whore/virgin image!

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