Presentation Title

P-11 Lookers and Glass Slippers

Presenter Information

Kari Friestad, Andrews University

Presenter Status

Assistant Professor of Art, School of Architecture, Art & Design

Preferred Session

Poster Session

Start Date

30-10-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

30-10-2015 3:00 PM

Presentation Abstract

In contemporary society, the mass media, pop culture, and beauty industries drive the framework of images that encourages Western culture’s fascination and obsession with the female form. The framing of contemporary woman through images creates a fractured impression of the identity of woman. This framework of images exposes the awkward tension between the audience and the process of signification that occurs between the body and images. The language of psychoanalysis presented by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan stands as an example of the dominant mode of thought of Western society and its attitude towards the female form. Women are particularly associated with being recipients of the gaze, while the image of woman is continuously manipulated into a specific, idealized kind of beauty image.

This series references the historical trends and aesthetics of portraiture of royal children, such as the work of the court painter Agnolo Bronzino and society painter John Singer Sargent, while incorporating contemporary painting styles within color and concept. The compositions function as narratives with the addition of archetypal symbols that are found within different fairy tales, such as the story of Alice in Wonderland.

The American beauty pageant system is one facet of Western culture that drives the function of woman as the recipient of the gaze while reinforcing the standards associated with a search for a woman or child winning at beauty. The imagery of beauty pageants inspired my current paintings, where I appropriate images of beauty queens from the Internet and juxtapose them with symbols that refer to fairy tales. My intentions with the work are to create a narrative that exposes the vehicle of the beauty pageant as a mechanism for control, societal influence, and pressure while demonstrating the depths reached by the myth of perfect beauty.

Acknowledgments

This project was funded by a Faculty Research Grant.

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Oct 30th, 2:00 PM Oct 30th, 3:00 PM

P-11 Lookers and Glass Slippers

In contemporary society, the mass media, pop culture, and beauty industries drive the framework of images that encourages Western culture’s fascination and obsession with the female form. The framing of contemporary woman through images creates a fractured impression of the identity of woman. This framework of images exposes the awkward tension between the audience and the process of signification that occurs between the body and images. The language of psychoanalysis presented by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan stands as an example of the dominant mode of thought of Western society and its attitude towards the female form. Women are particularly associated with being recipients of the gaze, while the image of woman is continuously manipulated into a specific, idealized kind of beauty image.

This series references the historical trends and aesthetics of portraiture of royal children, such as the work of the court painter Agnolo Bronzino and society painter John Singer Sargent, while incorporating contemporary painting styles within color and concept. The compositions function as narratives with the addition of archetypal symbols that are found within different fairy tales, such as the story of Alice in Wonderland.

The American beauty pageant system is one facet of Western culture that drives the function of woman as the recipient of the gaze while reinforcing the standards associated with a search for a woman or child winning at beauty. The imagery of beauty pageants inspired my current paintings, where I appropriate images of beauty queens from the Internet and juxtapose them with symbols that refer to fairy tales. My intentions with the work are to create a narrative that exposes the vehicle of the beauty pageant as a mechanism for control, societal influence, and pressure while demonstrating the depths reached by the myth of perfect beauty.