Sue Williams

“Spiritual American #2” (1992), acrylic on canvas

(Piece #1)

“A Funny Thing Happened” (1992), acrylic on canvas

 (Piece #2)

Piece #1:

       Sue Williams’ first piece titled “Spiritual American #2”, is a piece that I think represents violence against women very well. This piece is an eye catcher for its boldness and being completely raw. With the simple strokes of acrylic paint she is able to create a “cartoon” like painting that sends out a strong message to its’ viewers.

        The thought of violence towards women is sometimes hard to imagine from your own perspective unless you have been victimized, or have had a personal experience with it. This image sends a shock to my body to see a man who is clearly forcing this woman to have sexual intercourse with him while pointing a gun at the back of her head.

         There doesn’t need to be great detail in this piece to understand what the meaning of the message may be. She slightly shows some expression on the man’s face by using eye brow gestures, and the opening of his mouth. He has the emotional look of anger, and tenseness as he points the gun to her head. She chose to not complete the face of the woman, which I read as she is not complete. She has also put some slight expression in the woman’s eyes by making them wide and bold, as though she is expressing the fear and shock the woman is feeling.

         It is hard to view such a piece knowing that these situations happen everyday to many women. It is even more hard to know what it is like to go through this situation. As any human being would know, no one wants to go through this. By creating pieces such as this one, it can help realize that these criminal, and terrifying acts need to be stopped.



Piece #2:

    Sue Williams’ second piece titled “A Funny Thing Happened”, is another bold, and very expressive piece. In this piece she almost sends off a message that is somewhat mocking how society treats the incidents of violence against women. She creates the idea that society doesn’t treat these crimes with seriousness. They treat them more as a joke from her perspective, and for the most part she’s right.

        She creates the focal point of the piece in a sentence form, which sets off the basis of the piece. With the sentence reading, “ A funny thing happened on the way to the: …”, with a list following down the side of possible destinations for women to be going. These locations are just places that these women may have been going when they were attacked. Looking at some of these individual places that she lists, they are common things to be doing during the day, or night by any woman.

         She then creates different scenarios of what could have happened, or could happen to women. Although they are not very detailed, she once again just shows suggestive brush strokes to create the outline of the figures. She adds the words “Funnier” and “Funniest” to certain scenarios suggesting the “mocking” of society, and how they react to these crimes.

         I think this piece is even more bold than the first one, because she is directly targeting society in her message of this piece. It allows the piece to become stronger being that she put more harsh opinion into the piece. I think it is another great example of how we, as society, need to stop these terrible crimes by gripping onto reality, and realizing what is really happening in our society.


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