Thursday, January 20, 2011

Anonymous Women

In the Targets I dealt with famous women. Some suggested an anonymous woman might be a better choice, and while I’ve made a few, in general I disagree. When a woman has no story, it's easier for people to project their own fantasies on her. That’s OK but my own obsession dwelled on the stories of women who worked hard enough to be known - I build upon their complex narratives. There's a reason they're a target and it's never just about how they look.

Even so, I collected images of beauties unknown, models and the like, many from previous eras, before models became famous. I couldn’t resist collecting their faces, even as I declared I couldn't use them. It was perhaps a delicious return to girlhood, but it wasn’t just that.

After a fifteen year hiatus, beginning in 2009, I was working as a makeup artist again. It was never really discussed because I didn’t have the words, but this time going into it, my whole view of the face was different - I mean the one I montaged with, not just the one I painted. The return to a makeup career, such as it was, freed up and reshuffled my idea of the anonymous beauty.

And all along I had this building sweet stash of art history images. Sometimes I would just look at the Greek vases I studied at the U of O and then visited often at the Met and the BM. But what was I going to do with them? This has been vaguely in the back of my mind for decades. The perception was that certain types of pretty women had little to do with serious art.
(Anonymous Women is a working title and up for change, depending on where this all takes me.)

No comments: