With numerous magazine spread out before me, I searched the pages fruitlessly for the sentiment expressed in the words of Edgar Allan Poe: “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”
I have searched through quite a few vintage magazines lately. Seventy-seven years have yellowed the pages, but the ads have a message that today still ring out loud and clear. As women so much of our worth is tied to our appearance. The ads confirm this, marketing one product or another to make us thinner, younger, beautiful, and ultimately happier. And over seven decades, nothing has changed.
While I have no qualms with anyone trying to look their best, where does the obsession for unattainable perfection become just that…an obsession…splitting us into fragments of ourselves.
As artists, we are visual beings. Do you find yourself contemplating these ads? Do they influence your work, or your life? Is the search for beauty and perfection tempered with self censorship?
The substrate for the collage is a stretched canvas. It is covered in metallic gold acrylic paint. I built the collage from a fashion photo from the 1950’s, vintage magazine ads, excerpts from a 1938 diary, and handmade paper.
What do you censor…even to yourself?