With That Frown, You’ll Make Any Man Run Away

With That Frown, You’ll Make Any Man Run Away, collage and mixed media on scrap cardboard, April 2020

I had some nice paper at home that I wanted to use for a collage.

While at first I was only interested in somehow enhancing the texture and the patterns of the paper, later on I found some other scraps at home and I decided it was right about the time to channel my boredom into a collage.

I always loved collage as a non expensive and quick technique, that still allows to achieve rather eloquent results through the Freudian technique of free association.

Moreover, one of the pioneers of Dadaist collage is one of my sheroes, Hannah Höch, a German artist that managed to convey caustic criticisms through apparently harmless paper cutouts.

This collage that I made originated from a conversation that I had with some friends, during which we discussed how much women our age, growing up, are still taught to settle for literally any partner that is courteous enough not to hit or cheat on us, despite any other sign of decency might lack.

In our small community in Italy, many adults tried to raise us with the idea that we needed to “tone it down a notch”, and that being opinionated, sexually liberated or just ambitious was a threat that could take our focus away from our main purpose as girls -being likeable.

I think that this constant reminder that a woman should suffocate her exuberance to let other fragile personalities shine is what still makes me in spite so keen on discovering the voices of women artists who had so much to express, but were cornered and made feel unfit because they just couldn’t sacrifice it all.

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