February 3rd, 2010 marked the 116th birthday of Norman Rockwell. Google's clever inclusion of his art among the letters of the search engine's logo alerted me to the historic date. Oh Google! You went and did it again with your clever intertextuality.
Rockwell rose to artistic fame with his Americana paintings depicting everyday life and its sentiments. On May 29th, 1943 The Saturday Evening Post ran as its cover Rockwell's painting of "Rosie the Riveter." Norman Rockwell's painting was the first widely publicized visual representation of Rosie the Riveter. Rockwell's Rosie was a commanding figure decked in overalls and a matching work shirt. She is confident as she gazes out into the distance, all the while using as a foot stool a bruised and battered copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf. Rockwell's Rosie is undeniably a more potent image than that which has come to culturally represent Rosie the River, J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It."
Artist Jessie Rose Vala,
based in Portland, Oregon, has a way of mixing utterly beautiful
graphite detail with dark, often mythological narratives. I first saw
her work at Motel Gallery for the exhibition: The Tortuous Veil.
In it, Vala explores the archetypes of the vampire, werewolf, zombie
and shape-shifter, using them as metaphors for our own over
consumption, complacency, mob mentality and environmental degradation.
Other works of Vala include explorations of inner struggle despite the
security and comfort we create for ourselves in something as mundane as
our living room (Future Remnants of Dreamvilles), as well as scenes that mix modern female figures with ancient myths and tropes. (more after the jump)