Pondering Patrick's feedback, and references to Ellen Gallagher and Kara Walker. I love Kara Walker, so creepy. And the idea of using something contemporary to the development of my identity (the 80s) and playing with it, is intriguing.
So the theme I am exploring is Authenticity/Conforming. The idea of camouflage has come up, and also this nagging longing to BE SEEN and valued. It would be so nice to be out, and for that to be a cool thing. Yay! Lesbian Art teacher! How awesome! Instead I hide, I hide that part of myself. I conform, I fit in. My lesbian identity is invisible at work, and out in the world. I do not represent. I want to be seen.
I'm way out of my comfort zone, trying to make art out of cultural references. I've never done it, so it feels unnatural. I looked for 80s and 90s pop culture, fashion, technology so see if anything grabbed me.
I thought about models of femininity. Who was held up as role models for female gender? Who played with gender? Prince, Boy George, Joan Jett. I remember that I was never into those teen beat type of magazines with the cute boys on the cover. My friends and went through a Duran Duran phase. Each one of us had our favorite. Mine was Nick Rhodes. Everyone in the band wore make up, but Nick Rhodes was by far the prettiest. I remember feeling a little self conscious about this. Was it weird?
I played with placing gender bending 80s icons into a classroom setting. Here is Miss Jett and Miss Lennox.