Reviews

Working Girl: On Selling Art and Selling Sex by Sophia Giovannitti

bibliocyclist's review

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emotional funny reflective fast-paced

4.0

Is the work of art to make things new?  Is art “incomplete without the perceptual and emotional involvement of the viewer”?  What is the “beholder’s share,” and how important is it?  More pressingly, “how should we talk about consent when there is rent to pay?”  If you’ve made love and sold art, vice versa, or both, if the terms of the free market and the tension of whether to pursue an authentic life or actually make money have left you at a loss, check out Working Girl: On Selling Art and Selling Sex, a work of memoir and social commentary by conceptual artist Sophia Giovannitti.  Is winning “like surviving, only better”?  What is your original language, and can you speak it if you’re gagged?  When do you lay it all out, why do you bury it, and what would compel you to dig it back up?  Even those who come to Working Girl for the sex will stay for deeply “legible expression” from those who have been silenced, for scalpel-edged critique, and for the “chaos safely removed from sight,” skillfully repositioned beneath the microscope’s eye.  As the New York Times’ Roberta Smith remarked of Lynda Benglis’ 1974 ArtForum self-portrait, Giovannitti is “laugh-out-loud thrilling, and the phallus is the least of it.”

maddiehhh's review

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challenging funny hopeful informative reflective medium-paced

4.75

bella_ruth's review against another edition

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challenging funny hopeful informative reflective medium-paced

4.75

piiiesk's review

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5.0

I enjoyed this book a lot! It is an interesting and reflective look into the similarities and differences between art capitalism and sex work - I also found it to be a good introduction to sex work in general, as the author reflects on different feminisms and non-feminisms regarding this topic. 

vanillabee_'s review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 — I was very intrigued by a lot of the themes explored, especially those about how we think of work. Plus, I loved the actual writing. Sophia’s perspective is sharp and musing.

Even so, I felt like it would’ve made a stronger impact with some restructuring or a clearer central thesis or something that didn’t feel like it was wandering off at times.

alanismcq's review

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informative reflective medium-paced

4.5

gremkinz07's review

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4.0

The creative and intellectual work of Black people, particularly if it draws on their relationships to their own identities, is often heralded as activism, rather than art or scholarship. 138

You are selling yourself short, remember, you can have what you ask for, ask for everything. 160

noahg's review

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medium-paced

4.5

Feel like a BLT rn.

coconutboots99's review

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4.0

I definitely read this too fast, and I think at some point I'll definitely go back and study this writing more closely

I am in love with Giovannitti's writing, and the inclusions of art comparisons to what she is describing.( This part of course should be a given, as she is an artist, but you can tell that she has studied and consumed so much art that she is able to make the comparison of art and life, and the beauty and struggle that exists in both) But the extent to which she knows art, sex work and herself is what made this book addicting. You rarely see memoirs that are so intelligent and self-aware.

mpswans1's review

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challenging emotional informative reflective slow-paced

4.0

Tumblr esque self reflection. Interesting, reflective,  and insightful bits with a lot of additional perspectives and contexts, but the book reads like a long notes app.