Nadine Boughton

True Adventures in Better Homes

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.

The collages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII, and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all danger and darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner. One of my intentions is to show how the inner psyche reflects the culture at large.

I am drawn to the tension of opposites — inner and outer spaces, wildness and domesticity, the sweat and the cool. I am interested in what lies beneath appearances. The predator theme prevalent in the “true” adventures led me to explore who or what is breaking through. Whether bats or whales, the “other” embodies both our deepest fears and our deepest desires. We meet ourselves.

Nadine Boughton
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