Monday, October 29, 2012

Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial

Detail of Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial (2012) by Molly Jo Shea
59 X 24.5 inches

Well, we're entering our final week of The Subterraneans here at the TAM.

I figure we can wrap up the show with a few more exhibition spotlight posts. Today, we're looking at the humorous and satirical work by Molly Jo Shea, Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial. Taking as inspiration the 1972 iconic nude Burt Reynolds centerfold, published in Cosmopolitan magazine, Shea transformed the image through yarn into a shag rug.

It's an interesting examination of sexual objectification. Back in 1972, the image was intended to posit "eye candy" for women, an act of "sex positive" feminism. Although contemporary marketing of such sexuality towards women is still alive and well, as this year's movie, Magic Mike, demonstrates with impressive box office earnings, the overt "beefcake" approach of 1970's "sex positive" feminism seems a bit vulgar, awkward and humorous.

Therefore, the transformation into a shag rug feels appropriate. The discomfort induced by the image's now inappropriate sexuality is softened into a funny textile cartoon, draining it of all erotic expressiveness. But it raises the question as to what exactly is "cheap and superficial." Is it the original centerfold with its overt appeal to female carnal desires? Or is it the modern sensual sensibility that rejects the exuberance of yesterday's sexual revolution?

Here's a vid:

Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial by Molly Jo Shea

The artist-run space that Molly Jo Shea helps run is RAID Projects, located at 602 Moulton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90031. Check them out!!!

And, we can't end the post without listening to Burt Reynolds singing.

"Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial" performed by Burt Reynolds

Now, don't delay!!! We close up the show this upcoming Saturday, November 3rd.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM, 'cause "This might be the only chance we get." ;-)

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