My mother’s generation of women is vanishing. We are left with imperfect memories, snapshots, and unasked questions. Our mothers imparted to us an idea of what women were supposed to be that was given to them by their own mothers, as well as by the male dominated culture of the time. The movies and magazines they saw gave them standards to measure themselves against. These standards often fueled self hatred and insecurity. Were they good wives and mothers? Were they glamorous? Patriotic?
These paintings are part of an ongoing series that explores these ideas. They are inspired by my inherited collection of illustrator's model shots, and family photos from the 30's through the 50's which I freely interpret. The original use of the models' glamorized images informed and colored our parents' and grandparents' notions of “womanhood". These concepts were then passed on to us. Even after the advent of feminism we continue to be confused and bemused by the subject. In my work rather than use these women to sell products, I portray the models as individuals worthy of respectful portraiture. As the child of a woman who seemed to constantly reinvent herself I was often left asking myself: "Who is she today."
Who are you today?