2008-2012 DANGEROUS CAREER BABES
As female children, we create an extension of ourselves by dressing up dolls.
In a similar way, a lot of women still dress up to pretend roles as adults.
This is different to actually being something – a real career babe. Rather,
it's a form of play-acting. No skills are needed, and the career can change
every day. Feminism made a broader range of female career characters
believable. Post-feminism, we not only see imagery of women posing in
various uniforms and career-outfits, we watch them enacted in mainstream
films – Angelina Jolie as tomb-raider Lara Croft or a sexy assassin in
Mr & Mrs Smith, Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux, or Salma Hayek as vampire
Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn.
When I drew the first Dangerous Career Babe, I intended the torso and legs to
remain the same in each painting but to adapt the arms according to the props.
Instead, I have been able to use exactly the same pose. The images are a lot
stronger this way. I've realised that it's because it makes the figure seem more
like a combination of an action figure and a Barbie doll. One hand is designed
for holding, and props can be slid into it. The other is gestural, indicating some
kind of communication or action that can be interpreted according to the
qualities associated with each costume the figure wears. Mostly, the props are
barely necessary. I just think it's fun to include them.
Just as in real life, the costumes are the key. The figure is a dress-up doll. The
career the figure assumes in each painting is identifiable because of the clothes.