This article focuses on traditional sayings in the work of contemporary artist Janet Davidson-Hues, whose poetry and three-dimensional, monochromatic art revolves around proverbial expressions. Advancing the theory of the fetish as a critical lens through which to explore the ways these expressions function in Davidson-Hues’s art, this work theorizes that the proverb in visual arts has historically functioned as an element of fetishistic display. While exploring Davidson-Hues’s innovative uses of proverbial materials, the article also considers the feminist messages in the artwork and posits what is revealed about proverbs relative to gender.
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