monoprint with letterpress
14 x 17 in.
When I was growing up, the dolls I remember most were nuns, brides, and beauty queens, These were the categories considered aspirational for girls. These doll “types” had an underlying message, “be good, be pretty, be ‘Barbie’.”
I was in college just before “women’s studies” were an area of study. I grew up in the gap of “before and after. “ Now I find that my art practice is helping me re-examine my own identity as a woman, as well as the cultural transition from 20th century to todays’ women. For years I have collected pop culture, vintage women’s magazines, and stacks of found photography.I loved the faded photographs of prom queens and beauty queen pageants. The rows of faceless figures in bathing suits. I often incorporate this ephemera into my art. These images that I used to think were camp and fun, now are deeply disturbing to me. I hope my art can be a marker of how far we’ve come… Doris Day to RBG.
We women can still value our personal beauty, fine. But we now demand the opportunities and power given to men. Yes, we can! As an artist and feminist I plan to dig at this further.
© Janet Webber