It's International Women's Day, and our absolute fave Rihanna celebrated the occasion in her usual trendsetting vibe. She shared a piece on her Instagram Stories by London-based artist Venus Libido, who is about to become your go-to for phone backgrounds and pics that you send to your squad's group text.
Libido's artwork focuses on feminine institutions, like cooking in the kitchen, beating your face with makeup, and drinking a glass or four of wine. Her style is rough around the edges, giving those institutions a dose of realism and comedy. Her characters are existentially bound by traditional notions of womanhood, but they never feel bogged down by its trappings; they exist alongside femininity in all its gnarly, hairy, messy glory. There's tits and dicks galore, deftly employed with humor. Rihanna must have gotten a kick out of that humor, because the image she shared is that of a woman in a topknot turning on a blender full of penises. Relatable as hell.
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She says that her illustrations have a reactionary quality, writing that "the general aesthetic of [my] work reflects a personal irritation and bitterness that has steamed from experiences of misogyny, patriarchy and a constant fight for equal rights for women in the work place." The hints of sexuality in her work feel equally bitter — her nude characters aren't erotic in a porny way, they're bumbling through the awkwardness of courtship and sex just like the rest of us.
While she mainly creates artwork, she also designs genital-themed jewelry and candles. Like her art, the vagina and penis necklaces aren't sexy, but they are statements the push the boundaries of how humans interact with their anatomy. Prints of her illustrations and her objects are available on her web store. Caution, you'll empty your wallet before you know it. Scroll through to see more of her work.
The Rihanna-approved penis smoothie illustration also comes printed on a tote bag. You can bet this will be our new go-to laptop stash bag.