Soapy Hair Stories: Appropriations of Roy Lichtenstein
|Up close view of Susan's Boyfriend Loves Her Afro|
Keep in mind, men never have to obsess with image as much as women do. They're allowed to keep their hair in any way, in any style while women resort to spending tons on weaves, relaxers, perms, and extensions to appear "attractive" and in turn, cruelly punishing natural sisters for not following suit.
Based on true accounts of a turbulent upbringing (was given the ugly nickname "Carpet" in school), the tragedy of African American women despising free style wearers and going as far as publicly criticizing and embarrassing them is a sickened hatred has always confused me. This destructive mentality of "nappy is ugly" and "African roots are shameful!" are the basis of this work.
|The Straightened Mistake|
Now soap operas are filled with intense, fluffy drama- always characters plotting and scheming to tear apart loving relationships.
Isn't this kind of conflict similar to hair?
With deceitful media and cosmetics companies selling a specific ideology that excludes afros and kinky enjoyment, there is a such thing as peer pressure.
Playing with this very cheesy theme, I used iconic pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein as an informative guide in creative process. So I appropriated his original concept, but ethnicized his traditional blond characters crying over boyfriends. In Soapy Hair Stories, these women are teary eyed over dreadful root decisions and consequences. Taking the seriousness of hair issues in graphically humorous circumstance, in every composition, pictured crying and looking like downright pathetic basket cases, these women are simply detailed in varied states of distress- passionate joy in Susan's Boyfriend Loves Her Afro, regret of a relaxer aftermath in The Straightened Mistake, or agony in To Relax Or Not to Relax.
Prismacolor colored pencils were another challenging aspect, especially with pressing down hard on the surface, trying to cover as much ground as possible, and constant sharpening, but I bravely managed to succeed my goal.
However, since I found myself enjoying the subject matter, printmaking may be the next step. For the feedback has been astounding and informative, giving me ideas on taking this concept further.
Soapy Hair Stories is universal though the characters are minorities, relating to just about anyone.
Long, straight, short, curly, kinky, nappy..... every women either passionately dislikes or ardently loves her hair.
Hopefully, more than anything, people with hair shame will not hide underneath the guise of hurt and anguish, but relish in the joy that Mother Nature created.
Laugh, cry, and be emotional, but love the value on your head too!
|To Relax Or Not To Relax|
Special vegan treats will be on hand from local bakery, Thistle.
Please come out!
It'll be fun and downright amazing, I guarantee it.
Cachet G is located on 133 E. Third St, Dayton, OH, 45402 and Soapy Hair Stories: Appropriations of Roy Lichtenstein is up until May 8, 2012.