————— Forwarded message —————
From: Rebecca Kolsrud
Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Subject: Yackety Yack Girls
To: KARMA firstname.lastname@example.org
As far as titles, there are none, untitled (women in landscape), untitled (women studies #1, #2, #3, etc?). And I don’t have a title for the show either. “New Paintings” as a title works for me, unless you think I should think of something else. They are technically the Yackety Yack Girls of 1969 so that can be content for a title as well.
I don’t know how much there is to talk about beside where the source images come from. The paintings are derived from a very particular (the only all-color and large format portrait section) of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 1969 yearbook, which is called Yackety Yack. This section has a photo of a woman representing each major sorority and club on campus. In the original photos the women stand or sit in front of a traditional portrait backdrop/seamless with dramatic lighting (sometimes color gels) and simple props to signify each woman’s unique interests and talents. These were a departure point for me to look both sociologically (at a time of political unrest or at least a lot of high profile anti-war protest, the year man first landed on the moon, Woodstock), as well as formally (the colors, patterns, fabrics, hairstyles). I was curious who these women were and why these portraits/quasi fashion photos seemed to be so awkward. They each want to present her best self to the world, either for a job or a husband. But they also seem to be in an unnatural or uncomfortable pose.
The women in landscape is the most important leap from the source photographs to an incorporation of another element. For this painting I wanted to place these women into a backdrop like garden space—a lush succulent garden in the foreground, to a fuzzy background. The middle ground has been dropped. To me this compared to the source photographs because the women were still situated in a shallow, somewhat controlled space. And being a southern Californian native, who currently resides in LA, I thought a Hollywood meets rural desert landscape seemed appropriate.