My mother is 86 and still lives in the same house I grew up in since 1964. As with many of us, she has boxes of stuff she just can’t throw out. You understand the sentiment ” I may need that some day” or “It might be worth something”. This past year, she decided to clear out a corner of her basement and asked me if there was anything I wanted to keep.
As I went through a box of old elementary workbooks, (she was a teacher’s aide back in the day) I came across a stack of old Life Magazines from the 1940s through the 1960s. For someone who creates collages from magazines, this made me giddy. Looking at the articles was like stepping back in time. It seemed as if I was reading for the first time about the evils of World War II and the excitement of the possibility of space travel. As I flipped through the pages, I began to notice how women were portrayed in ads. Many show women cooking or cleaning, the importance of being a good homemaker, and bras and girdles to help keep that girlish figure.
That got me thinking about how women’s place in society has changed over the past 50 years and that became the inspiration for this collage in my leg series “Two Worlds”. The main subject shows a modern day woman, who I imagine to be an entrepreneur. She’s at a coffee shop, hence the disposable cup, checking her emails on her phone while she waits to meet a potential client. I purposely have a ring on her middle finger to show her as a single woman. I contrast that with the background made up of snippets from ads relating to women that I had found in those old Life magazines. I think its appropriate to say, “We’ve come a long way baby”. (Perhaps a few of you, like me, will remember little tag line.)