Women’s underwear has been an object of art as long as we’ve been wearing it. Whether the purpose is a statement of power, of sexuality, or conquest, whether the underwear is modern panties, Victorian corsets, burning bras, or dainty bloomers, it is a theme that has arisen over and over again.
And it’s back once more.
Czech artist Paulina Skavová’s 14 handcrafted bras and panties are on display in the Czech Center of New York. There’s nothing scandalous about them – they are simply pieces of utilitarian-shaped underwear in frames on a wall. But Skavová’s statement is in their materials. Each piece is made of fur or feathers, all hunted by her own husband in the Czech Republic.
“It’s about the role of women in this moment and how underwear can be their weapon and they have some power in their sexuality,” Skavová said in an interview with art magazine DNAInfo. “Underwear is a bit of a sexual symbol and it could be an artifact.”
Is it part of her statement that all of her materials came from her husband’s hands? There’s no knowing. But the small collection is certainly arresting.
The collection is open to viewing at the Czech Center at 321 East 73rd St. through March 30, and admission is always free.