Venus Dog Tag

Tom Muir


Perrysburg, OH, United States

55mm x 28mm x 25mm

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Photo credit: Cole Rodger Photographics

Venus Dog Tag combines a small-scale image of the Venus of Willendorf, one of the world’s most recognizable and iconic fertility figures, with a standard dog tag. The jarring contrast between these two forms embodies the dystopian nature of government control of women’s reproductive abilities. My choice of this fertility figure is based partly in my earlier work with vessels and their meaning as places of nurture and inner transformation. The fertility figure references the womb as a literal vessel, but is also infused with feelings of emotional warmth, sensual power, and religious awe. The fertility figure’s body is not just a body, but a compelling presence. This work confronts the viewer with the struggle between this figure’s presence and the depersonalizing dog tag.

Tom Muir is Distinguished Professor of the Arts at Bowling Green State University, where he is head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing area in the School of Art. He received his MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his BFA degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

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