Looking at Sarah Best‘s sculpture makes me think about that commercial – the one where the guy takes a cow on a date because he really, really digs burgers. It makes me think about the 1978 Hustler cover where a woman is being put through a meat grinder, next to a Larry Flynt quote stating “we will no longer hang women up like pieces of meat,” or the Cattle Baron poster showing the “choice cuts” on a naked woman. That is what Sarah Best is doing, juxtaposing dismembered female limbs and butcher’s hooks, some in white plaster, others painted like the gruesome, hacked off body parts they are. Of course, her work is not sexualizing the female body-as-meat the way it is so often in pop culture, it is ripping it apart like a pack of wolves or a serial killer. I have not yet met a woman who doesn’t fully understand the phrases “like a piece of meat” or “meat market,” and to me, Best’s work illustrates this hard to convey feeling of desperation, danger and isolation in a culture that uses the female body as a canvas to violate or disembowel. Women are dismembered visually and physically, stitched back together in images of “perfection” or consumed as sex food. I really enjoy her sketchbook, where she creates collages that piece together faces and bodies the way the entire beauty industry does, whether its through photo-manipulation or plastic surgery. She takes a macabre approach to a subject that unfortunately many feel is tired, and thus breathes new, grotesque life into it. She’s got a couple of shows lined up this year, so if you get a chance to head out and see her work in person, take it!