Interview with Sue Johnson (2020)

The project constructs a disquieting satire that invites a deeper look at the taxonomy of the representation of women and proposes an alternate pictorial history in which two objects of desire become one — the domestic convenience object and the emergent female form. Mining the archive of 20th century print culture, labor-saving domestic devices merge with the body, or vice-versa. The resulting women seem familiar yet simultaneously we know that they are actually a highly fictional, patriarchal fantasy. To emphasize this artificiality, each is surrounded by a color-field created by dragging and scraping household devices through the paint. At their monumental scale, each portrait measures 109.25" tall, which is the exact height of Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass).

Monumental scale works (109.25" x 76")

Medium-scale (59" x 42") from Hall of Portraits from The History of Machines.
The original 12 plus 14 new hybrid women from 2020.

12" x 9" each. Image transfer and acrylic painting on paper. Variations are both on paper and on paper that is mounted on wood panel (2020).

Facsimile source prints for Hall of Portraits from The History of Machines document the found objects from which the female figures are created. Sources are from mid-20th century magazines that have been scanned at high resolution from the original publication (original size relationships and left-right orientations are maintained in the prints), each fragment having been digitally manipulated, altered and re-sized to create the new images.