New York, New York (1940–1993)
Wilke said, “People give me this bullshit of, ‘What would you have done if you weren’t so gorgeous?’” To which she replied, “What difference does it make? Gorgeous people die as do the stereotypical ‘ugly.’ Everybody dies.”
When Wilke was diagnosed with cancer, she documented her degenerating body in the series ‘Intra-Venus,’ at this point many people accepted the fact that Wilke was making challenging and critical artwork.
Wilke is most well-known for her series “ S.O.S Starification Object series (1974-82),” in which she covered her body with balls of gum folded into abstract origamis to represent the female genitalia. She then photographed herself covered in the pink lumps, calling attention to the objectifying nature of the male gaze ― while simultaneously disrupting it.