June 08, 2017

Book Sketch and Review - Naked by the Window by Robert Katz

One of my college professors recommended this book nearly 20 years ago and I finally got around to reading it. It's a great book - part detective story, part courtroom drama, part art-world exposé.

The author makes a very good argument that artist Carl Andre killed his wife, artist Ana Mendieta. Andre was acquitted because the legal system and the New York art community failed Ana and let him get away with it. He was then able to continue working and to continue showing his artwork.

What I wasn't expecting from this book was the very clear example of the patriarchy that it provided, without ever mentioning the patriarchy. Carl Andre got away with the murder of his wife because he was a successful male artist. And that's what the patriarchy does - it makes a man's job more important than a woman's life. I'm aware that it's not "supposed to," but just look at all of the examples of rapists who have received little to no jail time because they were young and had "potential." Or look at the president of this country, who can brag on tape about grabbing women's genitals, which seems to be okay with everybody because he's a good businessman. 

So, I would totally recommend this book, but be forewarned it will haunt you. RIP Ana Mendieta.

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