The #MeToo Boutique
No More Lip Service
Artwork by Karen Mainenti
Curated by Work In Progress
SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW
March 5-11, 2019
“We’ve reached a point in our history where even a tepid apology from a man is cause for artistic commemoration.”
In artist Karen Mainenti’s newest body of work—the #MeToo Boutique—she explores parallels between recent apologies made by men accused of sexual harassment and fault-finding marketing claims routinely displayed on consumer products for women.
"Reading these rich and powerful men’s public apologies, I was struck by how common it was for a woman to admit... her many ‘flaws,’ but completely unexpected for a man to admit any of his failings,” shares Mainenti.
Mainenti, who is known to engage with appropriated text and images, drawn from consumer products, advertising and media, applies the same lens she often uses to scrutinize women’s items to “re-design” ubiquitous consumer goods targeted at men, including Pabst Blue Ribbon, Irish Spring, Barbasol and Speed Stick.
In a program curated by Marly Hammer and Lisa Wirth, works include drawings of objects devoted to Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump, Charlie Rose, and Harvey Weinstein, brought together in the #MeToo Boutique.
In Mainenti’s re-imagining, popular product names are replaced with quotes drawn from each man’s apology. The irony of each apology juxtaposed with marketing repurposed from the products themselves—Maximum confidence! Feel clean and fresh!