Video

Petra Collins on the uses — and abuses — of the female body in art

Canadian artist and curator Petra Collins has been boldly capturing women’s stories with her photographs since she was 15 years old. Her intimate and edgy work has shocked some viewers, and at 22, she is no stranger to controversy. The New York-based artist caused a bit of an uproar with her t-shirt design for American Apparel of a menstruating vagina [NSFW], and had her Instagram account shut down after posting a photograph of her unshaved bikini line.

New York-based Canadian artist has seen her share of controversy

Canadian Artist and Curator, Petra Collins, sat down with CBC Arts in her New York studio to talk about her work and told us why now is the time to address the relationship between art and women’s bodies. Her intimate and edgy work has shocked some viewers, and at 22, she is no stranger to controversy. 2:55

Canadian artist and curator Petra Collins has been boldly capturing women's stories with her photographs since she was 15 years old. Her intimate and edgy work has shocked some viewers, and at 22, she is no stranger to controversy. The New York-based artist caused a bit of an uproar with her t-shirt design for American Apparel of a menstruating vagina [NSFW], and had her Instagram account shut down after posting a photograph of her unshaved bikini line.

"People are always like, 'Did you purposely do something to make people uncomfortable?'," Collins says. "And I say the reason why it's uncomfortable is because it's either something that we can't talk about or aren't supposed to talk about, and they're images that aren't ever seen."

Collins sat down with CBC Arts in her New York studio to talk about her work and told us why now is the time to address the relationship between art and women's bodies.

Watch the premiere of Exhibitionists Sun, Oct. 4 at 4:30 p.m./5 p.m. NT on CBC-TV.

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