Meegan Barnes likes butts. You might not know it off top, but a look through L.A. based artists’ portfolio, quickly reveals a unique appreciation for the female form. While the sculpture and mixed media artist might’ve appreciated the derriere in her formative years, it was a trip to Brazil that inspired her foray into sculpture.
“I came back from Brazil and was in between jobs so I took a ceramics class and without thinking about it I made a big ol’ butt!” Meegan remembers. The experience was paradigm shifting, as Meegan observed a different consciousness around body image prevail while in Brazil.
Falling in love with the medium, Meegan soon assembled a collection of voluptuous booties with even better titles. Coke bottle silhouettes titled “Booty Trap” and “Cact Ass” spoke to Meegan’s vibrant aesthetics, while works like Golden Lady speak to the 24 karat gold luster Meegan’s works take on.
We discovered Meegan on the gram only a few short weeks ago, and picked her brain about the origins of her work, her thoughts on body image, and her favorite booty shaking anthem.
As a booty connoisseur, in your opinion what is the #1 booty shaking anthem of the modern era?
“Work” by Rihanna and Drake got me shakin’ my booty these days…
What’s your favorite word for butt?
Tuchus. It’s yiddish.
Nice! I was hoping we could talk a bit about your artwork and the meaning behind it.
Well I know there is some deeper meaning but I’m still trying to figure that out. Why am I so compelled to make butt after butt? What does it all mean?
How did your desire to celebrate that particular part of the body materialize into sculpture work?
I made my first butt after coming home from 3 months in Brazil. I was always one of those girls who wore waist ties and baggy clothes and being in Brazil was so liberating. Women there just own it. I feel like when women see my butts they feel a little empowered. I know I do by making them.
In regards to empowerment, what else do you want your work to accomplish?
A girl at my old ceramics studio once told me that when she sees my booty sculptures, she feels better about her own ample apple bottom. That makes me happy. If my work makes a girl feel better about herself. that’s a pretty great accomplishment.
In general I think it’s just empowering to see big ass booties being looked at and appreciated.
Would you ever consider sculpting a range of booties from different parts of the world? I feel like the average booty in Iowa varies greatly from your average Brazilian booty…
I really have only been doing this seriously for the past year. Before that it was a hobby for nine years. Now that I’m doing it seriously and getting in shows and having interviews I’m being asked to think more about what it all means and what I’m trying to say and how it effects people, so yeah, I am thinking a lot about exploring different sizes and shapes.
I feel like 10-15 years ago it wasn’t cool to have a big butt. Like it was frowned upon and almost a sign of unhealthiness. However in recent years it seems like there’s been a greater appreciation for big booties in the general consciousness…
It’s true! I started making booty sculptures 10 years ago, way before the Kardashians and pop culture decided it was cool to have a big ass. Now you’ve got Levi’s making a wedgie-fit jean! I’m so happy that positive body image conversations are happening, and you’re seeing plus size models and celebrities in the media, and women are feeling less self-conscious about their bodies. But to be honest, I was gonna make these butts regardless of all that. It just happens to be good timing for me that booties are having a hey day.