BIG SCANDAL IN BRASIL…over Art, or over this?

Diva: la vagina de 33 metros que creó la artista visual Juliana Notari | La  República
(“Diva” the 33 metre long vagina made by Juliana Notari)

Some facts about “Diva”:

It took eleven months to construct…

According to the description in the international press, “Diva” is a vagina made from cement and resin. It is 33 metres high, 16 metres wide and 6 metres deep. It is a concept created by Brasilian artist Juliana Notari. The artist forms part of Proyecto de Residencia Artísticas of the Museo de Arte Moderno Aloisio Magallanes (MAMAM) and Usina de Arte. Basiscally it is a large open air museum.

According to the artist on Facebook, she says that “Diva” was made by hand and the construction was directed by Engineer Roberto Gatis. It took the labour of forty men. And I wonder, why men? Should not they have been women? After all, this, as you will see later, was a political work to denounce the bad treatment of women throughout the ages.

After all, Notari has said that the reason for the work was “para dialogar con cuestiones que remiten la problematización de género desde una perspectiva femenina aliada a una cosmovisión que cuestiona la relación entre la naturaleza y la cultura en nuestra sociedad occidental falocéntrica y antropocéntrica”. Which through my translation, which I hope you will understand, what she says in this brief manifesto is that she constructed “Diva” to create a dialogue that speaks to the problem of gender from a feminine perspective allied to a cosmic vision that questions the relationship between nature and culture in our western phallocentric and anthropocentric society.


She goes further to state that the work is part of the resistence, artistic resitence and that these topics have become more and more urgent. And she says a lot more but you can look it up, it is in various newspapers and a google search will lead you to them because I don’t like to read rubbish…

Of course the work is being attacked, and by who? By the usual suspects. Those in the far right, those in the religious extreme, those who are machista, in other words, those who get scandalised easily, those who are intolerant and those who want to control others and impose their will. No big deal. Not too hard to rile them up and this is what she wanted to do.

But to say that this supposed vagina, that really does not look like a vagina…she should have studied the anatomical form a bit more…does not say anything like that to me. I look at it as a red stain upon the earth. And actually it may even serve well as a form of decorative pool for exotic fish if you fill it with water and perhaps decorate the area around it with some nice flowers and not with the toxic materials she used to construct it. Oh, but wait, she did not construct it. It was designed by a male engineer and dug up by forty men…

So, you judge for yourself what this “land art” is all about and why all the attention is given to it. In my opinion, Notari did it with the intention of shocking those who easily are shocked by these things, which in no way are new, interesting or original. After all the vagina has been drawn, painted, sculpted and photographed for centuries. No shock value there. It does not speak about feminine questions and the real problems that exist, which make women victims, like gender and sexual violence.

I looked for more of Notari’s art and found only that she aspires…in my opinion…to rival Yoko Ono by creating the most simplistic, ridiculous and nonsensical conceptual art performances or displays. Therefore I leave it here. There is nothing to show. And please understand that these are my opinions, not my facts. The facts are out there for you to see and for you to decide.


La artista forma parte de la segunda edición del Proyecto de Residencia Artísticas realizado por la Museo de Arte Moderno Aloisio Magallanes (MAMAM) y Usina de Arte (Foto: Facebook/Juliana Notari)
(Juliana Notari, Facebook photo)


  1. Brad Osborne · January 24

    Well, I would tend to agree with you here, Francisco. I do find the lack of anatomical depiction to be somewhat revealing in itself, as I would not have expected a simple red gash in the earth to be a good representation from someone so openly speaking for women and their rights. The fact that you have to tell people it is a vagina kind of harks to the idea that there is no real artistic talent and a rampant desire to shock. I think more realistic sculpture of that size, say done by women, would actually be something worthy of some attention, at least as a statement if not a work of art. This reads highly symbolic to me, but has nothing to do with feminism or women’s rights. When I look at it, I see an open wound upon the land as a representation of man’s raping of our planet. Maybe Greenepeace will buy it! As for vaginas in general, I simply prefer mine a little smaller, thank you.

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 24

      Good point. 🙂 But the fact that she did not even work on it or have other women work on it and then used toxic materials to the earth to do it, probably because it was convenient and cheaper and because these types of “artists” do not really have to think too much, what for, after all they are going to reap the same financial benefits anyways…thank you my friend!
      All the best,

      • Brad Osborne · January 24

        I always enjoy this series, my friend. When we are given the opportunity to discuss art, it enriches the experience for everybody. You have certainly exposed me to and helped me more greatly appreciate a lot of artists I knew nothing about. I am also learning to discern my own palette for what I like. Thanks F!

      • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 25

        Sounds great my friend. That’s my goal, to get more and more people to get involved with art. I love art and I think within works of art there is much to learn from and to teach. Thank you very much! All the best,

  2. Rammstein was first with “pussy” 😛 😀

  3. Anna Waldherr · January 24

    Well said, Francisco.

  4. azurea20 · January 24

    Muy interesante. Conocía la obra, pero no la intencionalidad que hay alrededor de ella. Saludos

  5. spwilcen · January 24

    I line myself up for serious heat (read my post 1/27/2021, pending) but one can only hope Brazil has laws governing who can and who cannot be allowed to have children.

  6. culturacontralapobreza · January 24

    Me parece que reducir lo femenino a una vagina gigante de hormigón y resina es simplista. Eso por no hablar del impacto al medio ambiente (¿sabes si se va a quedar ahí?). Pero bueno, habrá a quién le guste…Un abrazo

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 24

      Si, es lo que se llama “Land Art” o sea una escultura hecha para permanecer sobre la tierra donde está. Y ni se parece a una vagina ni la explicación de la artista me va. Menuda estupidez digo yo. Gracias y un saludo,

  7. Easymalc · January 25

    To me there are two types of controversial art. The first type can be thought provoking, and the second type is controversial just to get the artist noticed. This seems to fall into the second category, like Tracey Emin, another ‘artist’ that follows the same ‘artistic’ route.

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 25

      Exactly Malc, this is similar to Tracy Emin’s “work”. It’s the “art” of the talentless artist that try to shock as much as possible. Funny that in Emin’s conceptual piece “People I’ve Slept With” you find written in the tent the name of the organiser of the show himself, hmm…
      It’s always great to hear from you and I thank you for your visit and your words always. Take good care my friend and stay safe,

      • Easymalc · January 25

        It just goes to prove that sometimes it’s who you know and not what you know. That statement could never apply to you though Francesc 🙂

      • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 25

        Thank you Malc, and yes, in the art world (or art business) I am what you call an “outsider”. 🙂

      • Easymalc · January 25

        You don’t have to be an ‘insider’ as far as I’m concerned. Your art knocks spots off of ‘Diva’ and other stuff like it Francesc. Seriously!

      • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 25

        Thank you my friend. Getting close to wine time,

      • Easymalc · January 25


  8. Barbara Kristaponis · January 25

    There is a long history already of this kind of work. Before getting all hot and bothered about it, we might consider doing some reading outside our comfort zone. For starters, here are a few other women artists working in this vein who also caused a stir/resistance/outreage: Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Carolee Schneeman, Yaoi Kusama, Hannah Wilke, … and there is this:

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 25

      I don’t think Louise Bourgeois did any thing unpleasant or that lacked talent, intention and creativity. There is no way to compare her with the likes of some of the others you’ve mentioned, especially with Kusama or our featured Brazilian artist.

  9. Barbara Kristaponis · January 25

    There is a long history already of this kind of work. Before getting all hot and bothered about it, we might consider doing some reading outside our comfort zone. For starters, here are a few other women artists working in this vein who also caused a stir/resistance/outreage: Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Carolee Schneeman, Yaoi Kusama, Hannah Wilke, … and there is this:

  10. Barbara Kristaponis · January 25

    correction: outrage

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 26

      Did you read my article? Have you revised my blog. Had you you would know what I believe in and whose art I value. Louise Bourgeois is one of my favourite artists and Yayoi Kusama one of my least. I never mentioned in my post about getting hot and bothered. I report what is there. If you think that this 33 metre vagina is good and valuable art and that it makes a feminist statement then it is good for you. I think it’s rather silly to believe the sculpture truly has any value or says anything. So you see, we’ve both the right to our opinions, but don’t express for me what I’ve not expressed. I am a little beyond getting “hot and bothered”. 😊

  11. janetsm · January 26

    I agree with your take on this, Francisco. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but all I see in this image is an ugly, toxic rape of an otherwise lovely, peaceful hillside.

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 26

      Exactly! Even the materials were toxic to the land! I don’t dispute anyone’s idea of beauty but this sculpture does not represent anything! Thank you Janet, all the best,

  12. markbierman · January 26

    I have to admit this is one of the most interest sculptures that I have ever seen. Love it or hate it, it does grab your attention.

  13. Pingback: Wednesdays Art Series: “Art or FArt*? | Omnia Caelum… Poetry, Art, Music
  14. magickmermaid · 27 Days Ago

    I agree with you, Francisco. While it provides shock value, I do not feel empowered by this particular type of art.

  15. Daedalus Lex · 24 Days Ago

    Some entertaining contradictions in the act of bringing this artwork to fruition. I wonder if that was part of the artistic design (?) I have nothing against vaginas, but like you, this one doesn’t do much for me as an objet d’art (though the right-wing protests are absurd as usual). I do kind of like your idea of a vagina-shaped decorative pool for exotic fish though. That might make Notari’s piece more artistically engaging, with the bonus value of making the protestors go berserk 🙂

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · 24 Days Ago

      Brilliant! After all if she wanted to shock she had to do something more outrageous because this way she only shocks the usual suspects. Thank you 😊

  16. frederick anderson · 6 Days Ago

    I’m sorry I came to this so late. This piece of ‘art’ treads a dangerous line between significance and ridicule for me – it is in peril because age will not treat it kindly: it is perilously close to hilarious now, picture it again in a few years when the elements have taken over. I hope that someone will keep its surroundings well mowed – or perhaps they shouldn’t?

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · 6 Days Ago

      I thought it would look nice if they filled it with water and turned it into a fish pond, perhaps with some exotic Japanese fish…I quite agree with you, it is ridiculous. Thank you so much.
      All the best from Spain,

  17. Pingback: BIG SCANDAL IN BRASIL…over Art, or over this? – ART70 Jezebel Anevay

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