I like cookbooks. My favourite recipes are for jellied salads! Isn’t it great how you can take a powder made from boiled pig skin, artificial flavour and colour, add fruits, put it in a mold that resembles a decorative body part, and … voila! … you have a flawless dish of dessert?
I like magazines. My favourite advertisements are for women’s underwear! Isn’t it great how you can take a body, starve it, shave it, tan it, add makeup, put it in a mold that resembles a decorative body part, and … voila! … you have a flawless shimmering dish of a woman?
In Full Spread I lay open the magazines and cookbooks to consider the images that both delight and disgust me. By collaging advertising images, I explore how representations of the female body have changed over time. Repurposing these images, encourages the viewer to recognize the absurdity of specific stereotypes and cultural trends. Mid 20th century underwear models gleefully expose their undergarments to express their womanhood, demonstrating how easy and freeing it is to wear the garments that constrain them. In the cold sophistication of contemporary advertisments, a new breed of female underwear model has emerged: beige, sexual, hairless, and headless.
Molded gelatin, like women’s fashion, is a contrived and artificial beauty. My paintings explore my fascinated with how molded foods and molded bodies can evoke nostalgia and sex appeal.
Be it a jellied salad or a female body, our society loves encasing objects in molds. Our pretence is to make the artificial seem natural. Full Spread is a lighthearted investigation into the absurd aesthetics of feminine underwear and processed foods. Are these images of beauty or are they absurdity?
-Aralia Maxwell, June 2016