The Cancer Within
woven fake money, bra
12 x 12 x 6 in. | $500
My art incorporates Feminism, themes of domesticity, body image and the female experience. Added to them is the quirky twist of my Italian American background. That juxtaposition naturally creates more humor than angst. In my work, liquid soap bottles become angels, false eyelashes become a drawing of a Saint, and lasagna becomes wallpaper and a bikini. Role models for women range from The Madonna on one hand and Sophia Loren on the other. As a woman you are expected to encompass both.
Though the subject of my work (be it feminine, political or current events) may vary, the process is always the same. In Italian American culture where food and family life are predominant, it is appropriate that domestic maintenance, food and family nurturing would be the main subjects of my art. I realized I was putting the same kind of painstaking preparation into my artwork as into a meal. An integral part of my labor-intensive work is the step-by-step preparation needed to create it.
By altering common objects or applying divine imagery to them, each is transformed into a more individual, sacred object. These unlikely combinations naturally create humor, transform the objects into shrines, and define the absurdity of the expectations, stereotypes and roles against which women in my Italian American culture are measured.
For me anger is not a productive emotion. It is healthier to keep one’s sense of humor. Often people are willing to examine tougher issues when they are approached with humor, just as beauty can seduce the viewer to examine more closely a repulsive subject. If one can get people to look and consider, then maybe can society’s attitude toward women be altered.
© Lisa Venditelli