The Feminine Mystique

This body of work is a retrospective of 1970s album covers juxtaposed with a feminist twist. My earliest photographic influences were the photos on the covers of my parents’ vinyl records. I would pour over the covers for hours, looking at each photo. I remember particularly enjoying the photos of the female artists and their colorful, creative attire. I read an article about a female singer from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s who was a very strong feminist in her work. She wrote, sang, produced and published her own music-something that was unheard of at that time. In fact, the record company was so nervous that a woman’s name was going to be on the album credits, it listed a man’s name as well for publicity purposes. I wanted to show the strength of that female artist in these photos. I also wanted to convey her strong passion for women’s rights along with the goddess within her. I chose to create them in square format like an album cover. This series is intended to show a woman as the artist, the goddess and the feminist.

The majority of album cover photography of women in the 1970s was predominantly done by men. I wanted these images to possess the female gaze. I am very drawn to the work of Cindy Sherman and her characters in her original film stills. The artist is her own muse. She is confident in her sexuality and not ashamed to show it.

Much like the influential albums of my childhood, I wanted the images to have a timely, 70’s feel. Garments, colors, tones and items were all chosen to reflect a different time when feminism was still young. It was a time where women were experiencing an ‘awakening,’ finally realizing that it was possible to have a career and a family. It was ok to want something more. Women were taking a different route, some forgoing a marriage and children altogether. This new path and awakened sense of thinking was clearly shown by artists of that time in all art mediums.

I feel the goddess is present in all women, though sometimes she is not recognized and never shown in a lifetime. Though no specific goddess is pictured, it is the goddess of self that is there inside. She is that little voice that speaks to women, encouraging them to chase their dreams, be strong, be courageous, and most importantly, be true to one’s self.