Known for a series of giant genitalia 'fuck paintings' (inspired by her husband's porno mags), the 72-year-old painter was once blacklisted and disregarded by radical feminists for her frank depiction of sexuality. As her new women words project - people send in words they use to describe women - makes its way across Europe, ELLE chats to the artist proving impossible to ignore.
Her art is rebellious, controversial and ballsy - literally, in the case of some of her giant genitalia paintings (hello, large-scale, up-close scrotum and vaginas).
Native New Yorker Betty Tompkins is an iconic artist and an outspoken feminist - although, it hasn't always been the case.
Tompkins has created paintings, drawings, and collages that celebrate images of graphic sexuality - with titles like Cunt, Pussy and Fuck - using pornography that belonged to her husband as references. While her early work in the 1970s was under-appreciated by art critics, and rejected by feminists, her provocative paintings now offer a timely feminist response to current issues in business, entertainment, and politics.