For those who wanted an explanation for the colorful painting of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston getting blown by a Pi Kappa Alpha brother, we received an email from Lena NW, the FSU art major who created it. She elucidated her inspiration behind the work.
Lena's email has been slightly edited for formatting:
I was inspired by the themes I have been dealing with in my artwork (matters of gender inequality, subverting misogynist cultures) in combination with the events at FSU involving Jameis Winston rape accusations + crab theft. I don't anymore, but in my freshman year I attended some fraternity parties and I just really don't understand how greek life is institutionally supported when it is literally designed to support gender inequality.
I recently read "Fraternity Gang Rape" by Peggy Reeves Sanday that really confirmed the speculations I had and the conclusions I drew from my first hand greek life experience. I recommend that book to all people. Like greek life, football is also a huge part of this ultra masculine college culture; I see the mishandling of the rape investigation as by product of the atmosphere this culture creates. Being in the proximity of this culture while thinking critically about it generated this artwork. I have higher expectations for male conduct than what these institutions allow to proliferate.
Lena also raps, and one of her lyrics produced the idea for that specific image of Winston. She was rapping with some female friends, about athletes embroiled in rape scandals and rappers who described graphic rape scenes in their songs, when she came up with a couple of bars about Winston: "You got that lameness symptom / I'm raping Jameis Winston / With the Heisman Trophy / Asking why can't he just blow me / No homie / I'm sorry." She decided she had to draw that visual.
Lena desired to be over-the-top in her work, poking fun at zealous Noles fans who praised Winston in obsessive ways, such as t-shirts with the QB's head on the body of Jesus.
It's also this notion of fan art, name dropping and "starting beef". There are so many outrageous fan posters likening jameis to a god, splicing his head on jesus' body, etc. So I wanted to make the painting look super spirited (it's literally bleeding garnet and gold!), religious, or like something a crazed Jameis fan with an intense erotic love for him would obsessively make. I initially referred to the painting as fan art as satire. I wanted the spirit of the painting to be like South Park or an internet meme like; for example the "Shrek Is Love, Shrek Is Life" fandom or "yaoi" fandoms that draw homoerotic fan art of heterosexual anime characters.
I had the sketch of Jameis Winston being sodomized with a Heisman trophy for a few months now and a few weeks ago I decided to turn it into a painting. The day I was finishing up the painting, the news about Jameis Winston stealing crab legs from public dropped, so I quickly drew in the crab; I figured being able to tag "crab" and "jameis winston" in the painting would draw attention to it.
After reading different articles, reports and opinion pieces about the Jameis Winston rape investigation, I have no opinion as to whether or not he is actually guilty of rape.
I heard that the accuser/victim was advised to leave FSU for her own safety; she was shamed, humiliated and received death threats. In articles she was usually referred to as "the accuser" while Jameis was referred to as "Heisman Trophy winner" and not for example "potential rapist"… it's is like regardless of the context he is in he will always be introduced with a title that is honorary. Regardless of the reality of whether or not rape occurred, the potential victim's integrity was defile by the prestige and privilege of the "Heisman Trophy winner". So I thought, how could I create a context for the Heisman that would make it a shaming, humiliating, negative, inflicting, oppressive object for Jameis?… this was my solution.