The last name GASS is listed as South German, Swiss, and Askanazi Jewish. Since Eden Gass is acting like a Jew and since she attended one of the most heavily Jewish universities in America, I assume that she’s Jewish. She also exhibits Jewish chutzpah in trying to sell her degenerate “art” to stupid tourists who are out for cheap thrills in New Orleans. See below.
When perusing the paintings on the Jackson Square fence, you might expect to find dreamy renderings of St. Louis Cathedral, expressive portraits of jazz musicians, and folky abstractions. You probably wouldn’t expect to find symbolic paintings of genitalia with provocative feminist themes. But that’s just what artist Eden Gass offers to passing tourists every weekend.
Imagine subversive versions of the sort of things seen in so-called men’s magazines. Silhouettes of romantically inclined animals, Freudian fruit, etcetera. You’ll have to imagine, because the majority of Gass’ art isn’t going to be seen on a family friendly website or in the newspaper.
Gass said that passersby seem to be remarkably open to it.
“Actually, tourists aren’t surprised to see it. They’re like, ‘Only in New Orleans,’ you know,” Gass said.
Dressed in high heels, tights, glittery sunglasses, and scarlet lipstick, Gass calls out to potential customers like a French Quarter nightclub barker. “Erotic feminist art,” she shouts. “Step right up.”
Visitors may be cool when confronted with her art, but Gass said, some of her fellow Jackson Square artists have been a bit chagrined. Amidst her colorful paintings, Gass displays the acrimonious, anonymous notes she’s received from detractors.
It’s not the anatomical content of her art that bothers her fellow artists, she said. After all, paintings of nudes have been sold on the square for decades.
The problem seems to be that some Square artists fear her political stridence will scare away business.
“It threatens their status quo,” she said. “There’s young and old (artists) up in arms about it,” she said.
Gass, 42, was schooled in conceptual art at Tulane University in the early 1990s. Back then, she said, she began incorporating feminist symbolism in her art as a sort of antidote to her night job.
“In college I made work about the body and sex in response to being a stripper on Bourbon Street,” she said.
When she first began selling art at Jackson Square four years ago, she concentrated on crowd-pleasing cityscapes. Then she had a serious medical scare.
“The current catalyst for this body of work, pun intended, was my 2013 diagnosis with breast cancer,” she said. “I did this little painting of breasts, including a stylized version of the breast with a mastectomy scar. I brought it out here with my tourist art and it sold immediately.”
Soon enough Gass replaced her visitor-targeted landscapes entirely with sexually frank pop paintings. Meanwhile, she said, she faces a second mastectomy because of her genetic proclivity for that type of cancer.
Gass said that her feminist point of view predated the 2016 presidential election. But the political aspect of her work became even more acute with the revelation of now-President Donald Trump’s statement about the uninvited fondling of women. Gass uses it as a selling point, laughingly encouraging passersby to buy her paintings as a form of protest.
Just think, guys. If you were a tourist in New Orleans in the 90s you might have slipped a dollar into Eden Gass’s g-string.
There are probably a lot of guys who would want their dollar back after reading this article.