You’ve Come A Long Way to Bring Home the Bacon, Baby

14 Nov

Growing up, I wanted to be Audrey Hepburn.  Or Doris Day.  Or any of the beautiful, plucky, well-dressed heroines of the 50’s and 60’s.  I longed for the “good ol’ days”.  When women dressed up in hats and gloves to go shopping and flitted around the house in chiffon petticoats.  But then I woke up and realized that I was looking at the past through movie-colored glasses.  That those women, while dressed to the nines on-screen, still had to scrub toilets and change diapers and were still fighting to be recognized as equals.  But have we really come that far?  Artist Kelly Reemsten captures the frustration and seeming futility of all that it means to be female in a post-feminist world.

Cleaning Is Addictive, oil on panel, 36x36

Reemsten’s women are dressed in highly feminine candy colored vintage frocks, but often wielding iconically masculine tools such as a chainsaw or axe.  These tools can be seen perhaps as menacing or even empowering.  Or rather, looking at the imagery as a whole, the dresses and tools may be symbols of our efforts as women to “have it all”.

Inconspicuous, oil on panel, 36x36

Women still feel pressured, perhaps now more than ever to be all things to all people.  They are expected to not only cook, clean, care for children, etc., but now are also expected to have a successful career.  And look fabulously fashionable while doing it.  What once was strictly male domain is now our stomping ground, as well.

Unrequited, oil on panel, 36x36

Are the women pictured trying to maintain their femininity in a male dominated workforce?  Or are they working to show us that gender differences are inherently there and should not be ignored?  We were created equal, yet different.

The Hopeless Romantic, oil on panel, 36x36

Throw Back, oil on panel, 36x36

What say you, Artsies?  While you’re pondering, take a gander on over at Kelly Reemsten’s website to see more of her work.

Featured image is Slip, oil on panel, 72×48.  All images are via the artist’s website.

13 Responses to “You’ve Come A Long Way to Bring Home the Bacon, Baby”

  1. aiupaj November 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    In addition, check out!

    • Lesley November 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

      Very cool work! Thanks for sharing her site!


  2. m.a.tateishi November 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    I really like these paintings. It’s like Wayne Thiebaud and Barbie were put in a blender with a splash of something sinister, whirred up and voila.

    • Lesley November 15, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      I LOVE that description, M.A.! Perfect!

  3. "The Painted Lady" November 16, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    I LOVE these! The colorful flow of the dresses in contrast with the “Hardware”!
    I particularly love the thought provoking quality of the work….I could sit in front of one of these and ponder what the artist was trying to relay as well as interpret my own meaning…they are at once current and of MY generation…they certainly SPEAK which to me is EXACTLY what FINE art should do.

    • Lesley November 16, 2011 at 8:28 am #

      I think it’s their ambiguity that I love so much, too, Kelly! The viewer can interpret them in their own way and draw their own conclusions. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly! 😉

      Love to you & all the family!

  4. brittany November 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    I love these paintings! They have so much spunk.

  5. Jessica@CapeofDreams October 10, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    I collect paintings of women, and one of these would go perfectly in my bedroom! My husband might be a little afraid if it were one of the ones with an axe or a chain saw, though! You can check out my collection here

    • Lesley October 10, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      What a wonderful collection you have, Jessica!

      • Jessica@CapeofDreams October 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

        Thank you!


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