I must have been 15 and living in Chicago when my mom and her best friends Hedy and Judy started talking about Judy Chicago coming to Chicago. It was going to be a big exhibit in the South Loop, and all of the Jewish women were thrilled. I guess they thought I was too young to see so many vaginas, but they came home talking about the religious experience of it.
When I finally saw the color pictures in the Chicago Tribune of the huge triangle table, I couldn’t believe that all of these tongues and pink and flowers and fronds had come out of a woman who looked like my mom. Her real name was Judith Sylvia Cohen, and she had taken our mothers’ unspoken appetites and invented a female gaze in art. “Reclaim! Reclaim! Reclaim!” she shouted as she pointed out how people had made art synonymous with genius and genius synonymous with men.
Her moment is finally here again, and everyone can see she is our legacy, our great, our modern Frida, the should-have-been Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol or whatever men got credited with inventing everything. She deserves every ounce of this brand-new but totally necessary showing of attention, resources, and tons and tons of love.
Soloway is an Emmy-winning television director