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Allison Kotzig Talks Vagina Art: "It Started As a Valentine For My Husband, But I Realized It Would Terrify Him" (NSFW)

Allison Kotzig's shocking vagina art took us by surprise at the Hangar Gallery in Wynwood during Art Basel week.

Then New Times art critic Carlos Suarez De Jesus named it one of Basel's weirdest pieces.

So we caught up with Kotzig by phone and found out what inspired it, how she made it, and what she's working on now.

See also:
- Tiny Vaginas Giving Birth At The Hangar in Wynwood (NSFW)


Talk about the vagina birthing series showing at The Hangar...
It's a commentary on in-vitro-fertilization and the mass marketing of drugs for conception. It's about women as reproductive machines. I was gonna call it "The Hive," like the babies were being born, taking a look around, and being like "Let's go back in, it sucks out here."

How'd you come up with the concept?
It actually started as a Valentine present for my husband but I realized it would terrify him, so I just made it into an artwork. I got inspired by trophy plaques, and I was gonna make him a Valentine's vagina trophy. But I'm really into serial killers so it kinda turned into a nightmare and was no longer good as a gift.

Where are you from, where are you based out of?
I'm American, but my husband is from Slovakia. I live with him in the Carpathian mountains for 8 months out of the year, and then I'm here in Delray for the winter.

 

Did you make the vaginas yourself, or where did you get them?
I bought the vaginas at a sex store. I would walk in and buy like 10 vaginas at a time and the people who worked there were like 'What are you doing with all these vaginas?' Then I was like, 'Can you open the box so I can see it up close?' and they were like, 'Who are you? Can you just leave?' And when I would show up to buy more they'd be like 'Here she is again...' It was really funny. I also had to special order ones like the retro '70s one, with pubic hair, because no one likes that style anymore.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on a new series of dioramas. The first piece is called When Vaginas Ruled The Earth. It's like about when vaginas had more power. It's a giant vagina eating a dinosaur. There's a t-rex, and a big spider. Every time I see it, it makes me laugh.

What kind of reactions have you gotten?
I did a show that a bunch of feminists were at, and because the work is shocking, they all surrounded me and were like "What's this about?" I panicked and couldn't remember what to say, but when I explained the underlying feminism they got all interested. I didn't think I was gonna get out of there alive, though.

Shown anywhere else recently?
I entered a 1001 Artists Project. They had my work on digital display at Scope. It was playing on a computer that people could walk up to. I'm looking into galleries now, seeing who wants to put my stuff out.

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