Week 2- On “Mom Art and Motherfukers”

Susan Bright and Home Truth’ s Exhibition.

On the article: https://www.academia.edu/31560933/Of_Mom_Art_and_Motherfuckers

This piece of writing by Roberta McGraph is her critical analysis of the Home Truth’s exhibition. Roberta describes Susan Bright’s project as a vanilla celebration of motherhood, and the only artist that differs from that was Leigh Ledare.

Ledare, from https://officebaroque.com/artists/11/leigh-ledare

It was the first time I came across his work. Leigh Ledare is an artist from New York and he photographed extensively his mother in a sensualized way. As described by McGraph under the title Motherfuckers, “He is the voyeur to her exhibitionism. Ledare has described this work as an exploration of ‘inappropriate desires’. I am not sure if it is his or his mother’s, but I guess probably both. As a teenager he includes Mom in a list under the heading ‘Girls I would like to do’ and Tina fucks boys who are around the same age as her sons; one is a disturbing dead ringer for Ledare’s brother.”

So, apart from Leigh and his inappropriate desires, she considered some material even narcissistic, as the child and the mother are one. But, in my opinion, the narcissistic element is even more predominant in Leigh and his mother than in anywhere else. He is a continuation of her, to the point that he wants to experience her sexual adventures as an observer. There are no boundaries, when in a healthy relationship between mother and son they should be put in place. The experience the sexual encounters together as one, and she is comfortable with that.

Susan Bright asks for empathy and compassion at the end of the interview, but the tone used by MacGraph was not a very empathic one. I agree that the show lacked on diversity, as it displays the work of white and mid-class photographers and sitters, but how far the fine art discussing motherhood themes has reached yet? As mentioned by Bright, nowadays we are all surrounded by celebrity images, the baby “miracle” idea, the Madonna incorporated in the celebrity. And I agree that some people use motherhood as a power mechanism, as Roberta mentioned.

But, on the other hand, some mother’s as just looking for support and to share their experiences. Being a mother is important to have support, and most of the time you look for another mother, because of the experiences they can share. So, look at the famous photo of Beyonce:

Here is the Madonna on herself and twin babies. Beyonce is a product and she sells herself as so. This is one of the recent top of the list images, as she is one of the most famous performer of the world. I constant see other girls trying to look like Lady Gaga and other contemporary artists that ar on the top of the Billboard. The point is, these artists influence the way women will display their experience. The same way women try to copy their appearance, they will copy their behavior.

Not part of the Home Truths, I quite enjoyed the narrative of Clare Gallagher:


The closer look into domestic life and details of it is something that I could explore more. And the images look quite candid, soft and calm, even the “disorganized” seems calm. The question now is how I am going to interpret this material in my own style, and what will I choose to photograph. I have created a diary to take note of my ideas, maybe diagrams would help me to make sense on how my work will progress this semester.

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