Men’s adventure magazines of the 1950s and early 1960s are shocking, funny, ambiguously rich artifacts of popular culture. In this series, I examine them as narratives from the collective psyche, and consider how they would speak in the environment of orderly homes with sunny patios depicted in women’s magazines of the same era. Here is a collision of two worlds: “sweats" (as the men's magazines were called) meets Better Homes and Gardens.
In this series, I focus on gender polarities as depicted in popular magazines of the 1950s and early 1960s. Fortune magazine showed (and still shows) men’s world of wealth, industry, and big ideas. Its advertisements were awash with imagery of invention and the glamour of executives. Women’s magazines of that time centered on the home, a place of dreamy interiority, shapely bras, hidden faces, and flowing fabrics.
My collages deconstruct these images of mid-century advertising, creating ambiguous narratives with humor and a dark edge, and revealing some of the different relationships men and women have to power, beauty, and longing. They playfully imagine the convergence of exterior and interior experiences, the domain of abstract ideas and the mystery of the female form
Women draped in haute couture and posed in aristocratic settings were the face of a successful ad campaign that peaked in 1950s magazines. The product was Modess sanitary napkins, and the popular slogan was “Modess…because.”
These images of women were as far away from the body and bleeding as possible — in a word, they were “sanitized.”
My series of collages intends to reclaim women's bodies, especially in our politically charged times when women's rights are challenged and ownership of one's body is up for “grabs.”