Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Saints

All are acrylic on canvas, 8x10

“Grandma, you truly make the best pies!” In my new series The Saints I have chosen to humorously apply the notion of martyrdom to the beloved 1950’s housewife. During the fifties women were confined to the private sphere; restricted to the household, innumerable women became experts in housekeeping and masters of the kitchen. Qualified in all things quaint, women were required to dedicate their lives to raising children and tending to their husbands. While some may look back fondly to this era, the significantly high rates of alcoholism and depression among housewives during the fifties is enough to reconsider the recent idealization of this post-war era. Here the figures appear, at first sight, to be happy, but upon closer inspection one might notice that their eyes reveal tears, which symbolize the internal struggle, boredom and/or despair that many women faced and were forced to hide from their families. Thus, each character represents a martyr, namely someone who suffered for a cause. Yet in this case the cause, far from glorious or heroic, is of the utmost mundane kind, namely: baked goods, and their suffering: freak accidents while preparing their most famous desserts. Each of the saints is accompanied by a short description of the tragic incident that led to her canonization into the sainthood of housewives. Therefore, while grandma may very well make the best pies, this series seeks to challenge the viewer by asking: at what price?


Seeeee you all there!