Avant Garde Assholes

Excellent essayist and Los Angeles Times columnist Meghan Daum weighs in on the Aliza Shvarts controversy and decides that our favorite art agitator isn't actually all that original, especially when compared to a batty Brit named Mary Toft. "Many artists, including photographer Cindy Sherman and multimedia artist Judy Chicago, have incorporated menstrual blood into their work. As for those maybe-miscarriages and their role in performance art, hoax or some combination thereof, Shvarts has nothing on 18th century Englishwoman Mary Toft. In 1726, Toft became a sensation when she managed to convince the public and much of the medical community that she was repeatedly giving birth to rabbits." [LAT]