Inside BEAUTIFUL (INDESTRUCTIBLE) Women of the Juggalo World

Juggalette themed art show

A series of small-scale portraits of Juggalettes in a five-piece series ‘Hate Her to Death’ by Lucy Owen, installation view in ‘BEAUTIFUL (INDESTRUCTIBLE) Women of the Juggalo World’ at Start Gallery (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

Sarah Sharp of Hyperallergic took a stroll through Lucy Owen’s exhibit BEAUTIFUL (INDESTRUCTIBLE) Women of the Juggalo World. At Start Gallery in Detroit (open until Dec. 19th) she gave a little tour of the exhibit through the eyes of her camera and the artist herself. We get a little insight into how this art was inspired and how it changes the views of those outside our subculture. We also find out about the “top secret project” (if you weren’t able to go and witness it yourself) that Lucy mentioned in the press release for this exhibit.

 project ninjette paperFirst off let’s cut to the chase on the “top secret project.”Lucy collected a series of 3 selfies and any  written personal information they wanted to give from 98 Juggalettes through her facebook page. The picture to the left details this project in Lucy’s own words. Lucy overlapped the selfies with audio of local performance art duo Faina Lerman and Bridget Michael reciting pieces of emails sent with the selfies sent to Lucy for the project. “Project Ninjette” is the 17 – minute video changing the way people view Juggalettes.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to observe visitors to Project Ninjette arriving with an air of derision and mockery and leaving with a sense of acceptance and realization that these women are real people — and very attractive people at that,” says Owen.

It seems she has showed her peers the side they needed to see through her 17-minute video.

“I noticed a pattern of inquiry from journalists and fellow artists regarding what my experiences were, as a woman, at the Gathering and other events I had been to in the course of my research,” said Owen via email. “It seemed there was a level of expectation for me to denounce the subculture as misogynist and assert that Juggalettes are unwitting victims of exploitation.”

“Project Ninjette” is just the right antidote to this sentiment. Though you can’t view the video without going to the exhibit or purchasing it from the artist you can get a glimpse of it through the lens of Sarah’s camera.

“Project Ninjette”

project ninjette

project ninjette

Lucy was inspired by the Juggalettes and most notably the “Lette’s Respect” movement saying, “I learned that I was guilty of a few wrong assumptions about Juggalettes myself and was quickly enlightened as to how narrow my preconceptions were.”   She shines a light upon the Juggalettes just now coming out of the shadows the past few years. Lette’s Respect was only in its 2nd year when Lucy visited the Gathering. It spurred this Labor of Love into a year long project of getting to know the Juggalettes for who they truly were inside and out. No wonder it has opened minds. The truth sets you free, right?

“The Marsh Lagoon”

the marsh lagoon

Lucy embodies the spirit of a Juggalette in this piece captured by Sarah in her visit. “The March Lagoon” (already sold) brings up the lyrics, “who know what stories they tell?” That really fits with what it seems Lucy is displaying here. The true spirit of Juggalettes.  The true spirit of these Juggalettes is one of strength to be who you want to be shining for all to see. We see here a Juggalette in spirit form. She is the embodiment of all the unsung stories of Juggalettes that are still a part of this wonderful Universe Lucy Owen has artistically displayed.

My work has become a celebration of these women as a result, I have enjoyed every minute of it,” says Owen.

Lucy Owen

Lucy Owen among Gathering Artifacts


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