The debates around menstrual art would be the same as the debates about any kind of art. At least, they would be if people talked about menstrual art. Menstrual art is simply art that takes its inspiration from menstruation. It’s a growing descriptor, but it certainly crosses genres and media and continents.
It is widely accepted that US-based feminist artist Judy Chicago created what was probably the first modern, western artwork about menstruation in 1971. The photo litho, Red Flag, is a print in muted tones (save the red blood) of someone from the waist down removing her tampon.
But not all menstrual art is so iconic, or static, or western, or old. There are paintings, installations films, zines, immersive theatre—and much of the work is by artists working right now over the world outside the establishment, many of whom do not achieve fame or notoriety. Why are they doing it? To make money? To shock? To protest? To delight?
Personally, I make menstrual art because I see the value in using joy and humour to challenge...