Mystery is one of life’s most simple, yet interesting things. We find it in so many different ways, and seemingly can’t get enough of it. That’s why we spend so much time reading murder mystery novels, or watching the latest TV drama series. The sensation we get throughout the build up from week to week, not knowing what to expect, or the good old “I knew it!” moment that we’re guaranteed, keeps us entertained. Miriam Lenk is very much a mystery. Trying to pick her brain about her life, her upbringing, or her work, is a feat in itself.
Lenk is a German sculptor whose works are very recognizable because of how unusual they are. Her style and subject selection are some of the things that makes her a unique artist. She chooses to use subjects that don’t have what society deems as traditionally beautiful features, but are displayed in such a way that their flaws help you gravitate towards the pieces. Instead of pointing out the female subject’s flaws in a negative manner, you become intrigued and find yourself admiring them. Or at the very least paying attention to them. One way or the other, she finds a way to grasp your attention.
Some of her works have been of larger women with animalistic and nonhuman qualities. Oktopussy is a naked female figure, but has wings and eight tentacles. While Island 2009 has the physical features of a larger breasted woman attached to a tree, with some kind of animal’s feet.
Lenk is also known for the exaggerated state in which she displays her sculpted ladies. As, Jenna Thompson of Boise State University once said on her blog about Lenk and her Cumulus piece, “Making the vulva so large and visible reads as being meant as something sexual and desirable, unhidden and unashamed. This work is unusual in today’s society where emphasis is placed on the female form being thin in order to be considered sexy.”
The mystery that is Miriam Lenk shall be solved, hopefully, one day. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe that’s just her thing – to remain with a low-profile. I can’t say I blame her; being famous and having that celebrity status and not being able to do simple things seems stressful. The way to avoid it may just be to steer clear of the tabloids, the cameras, and especially social media (to an extent). While the mystery that comes along with her may add to the curiosity of fans about her personal life, her work speaks for itself, which is how it should be. There shouldn’t be a need to delve into one’s personal life if they’re giving quality work and staying out of the negative headlines.
– Blake Holmes