Most depictions of mothers in modern and popular art tend to be idealized projections of kind, loving, nurturing parental figures reminiscent of June Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver. Yet the mother I grew up with in the 1950s was not kind or saintly; she was malevolent and abusive. As such I could never relate to the saccharine maternal images seen on television, in magazines, or in movies. Even today I continue to find dissonance between my memories and experiences of childhood and the myth of the good mother presented in American culture. My work examines and illuminates the work of artists representing the archetype of the bad mother in postWorld War II America. To bridge the personal "disconnect" with what is predominantly being exhibited and published, I am exploring my raw memories of an abuse-ridden childhood through a photographic narrative. My portfolio is composed of a photographic series produced to challenge society's ideals concerning the good mother from the point of view of a child who suffered.
The Pain of Childhood