Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Judy Chicago

Power Headache

Power Headache

Judy Chicago. Power Headache, 1984.

Power Headache (1984) is from the Powerplay series of drawings, paintings, sculptures, weavings, cast paper reliefs, and work in bronze that Judy Chicago created as an examination of the gender construct of masculinity from a female point of view. Describing her motivation for the series in her 1996 autobiography, she wrote: “Over the years I had listened to women share their fears, rage, and frustration about how men acted both in private and in the world. Yet I knew that I didn’t want to keep perpetuating the use of the female body as the repository of so many emotions; it seemed as if everything—love, dread, longing, loathing, desire, and terror—was projected onto the female by both male and female artists, albeit with often differing perspectives. I wondered what feelings the male body might be made to express. Also, I wanted to understand why men acted so violently.” Along with several other images from the series, Power Headache was later translated into tapestry by Chicago’s long-time collaborator, Audrey Cowan. The work pictured here is the original oil on canvas painting.


emotions, feelings, power, male figures, masculinity, male violence

The Dinner PartyEarth BirthPower HeadacheRainbow Shabbat (detail, center panel)ItSnake ArmRainbow Pickett

Santa Fe, NM

c/o LewAllen Contemporary
Santa Fe, NM

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