Artist creates 'empowering' wearable sculptures


NEW YORK (AP) — Linda Stein wants people to armor themselves in her art.

She creates full-length wearable sculptures embedded with all manner of found objects, including driftwood, engraving plates, steel wire, zippers, pebbles and comic book images of superheroes.

Her idea grew out of her sense of vulnerability after the Sept. 11 attacks, with the aim of giving wearers a sense of empowerment and protection. Her targets are any form of institutionalized oppression, such as sexism, racism and homophobia.

She also creates "bullyproof vests." They are made from a patchwork of fabrics featuring such female symbols as the comic book hero Wonder Woman.

Stein's sculptures are making the rounds at 24 universities, galleries and museums across the country in what is a seven-year traveling exhibition called "The Fluidity of Gender."

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