Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dick and Jane.

Maggy Rozycki Hiltner uses embroidered images of children that seem straight out of a "Dick and Jane" book- except sometimes Jane is a slut and Dick is well a "dick." I know that this is oversimplifying to the extreme. Because in actuality Maggy seems to be exploring some tough subjects such as gender, sexuality, victimization, and the power struggle and stereotypes of the sexes. By using the very familiar and non threatening images of "Dick and Jane" she is able to represent some pretty taboo images and question the role of gender and beauty in our culture.

Coincidentally, I post about her after the amazing discussion about Stephen Sollins work yesterday. She too re-appropriates found linens and de-constructs them to create the environment for her figures- cutting out embroidered flowers and animals from found linens to re-layer them into new environments and juxtapositions. Her construction is intentionally "sloppy" and chunky in its layering- adding contrast to the neat perfect stitches of her figures.

Maggy states "I like when the work feels like a Home Ec project gone awry." To me this is a home ec project gone very right.

But it is interesting to go back to yesterdays discussion. Questioning why is her work not considered controversial as Stephens' is? She deconstructs and reuses in technically a pretty similar way. Is it simply a reflection of the very roles and stereotypes Maggy is questioning?
He is a man- she is a woman.

Or is it that he re-creates a very male image- the modernist image and she re-creates a more domestic image of "Dick and Jane." If they were making the exact same work but reversed. Would she be under scrutiny or would the scrutiny move with him to her work? It is very interesting to think about. If you have missed the conversation check it out from yesterdays post.

Either way I love both their work. Maggy also has some examples of large scale pieces on her website that are simply fabulous.


angela simione said...

yep, VERY interesting! why is it that her work hasn't offended the same league of crafter's that Sollin's work has? i am leaning toward the idea that there's a bit of gender bias going on in that particular controversy. if it's the ACT of embroidery itself that matters... and the pattern is somehow secondary... then nothing has been "lost" per se. the embroidery is still present, it has merely taken on a different configuration. if it's the ACT of embroidery that matters most, the guy definitely put in the hours.
both artists are using appropriation and the "art vs. craft" discussion to remarkable ends. love, love, LOVE!

sorry about my long comments. ha! these are the longest comments i've ever left at anyone's blog. it just such an exciting topic! thank you!

Joetta said...

love that comment. Truly perfectly said!!!