Join us on January 25th for the opening of the exhibition “Joy of Atleigh,” guest-curated by graduate student Beatriz Asfora, and for the launch of the first Bookcase catalogue, featuring essays by Genevieve Flavelle and Keely McCavitt.
“The Joy of Atleigh” is a conceptual YouTube video project begun by artist Atleigh Homma in 2016. “The Joy of Atleigh” uses the format of the popular make-up tutorial to question stereotypes of race, gender, and identity, both in terms of the artworld and in terms of the consumption of YouTube videos. In each video, Homma uses the tutorial format to talk about art supplies, or to instruct the viewer on how to paint a representational portrait, all the while simultaneously (though subtly) encouraging the audience to question popular culture’s relationship to high art and kitschy “girly” objects. The format of the videos is instantly recognizable to those familiar with popular phenomena such as “Beauty Hauls” and “The Boyfriend Tags.” Homma plays on these tropes in the titles of videos such as “My Boyfriend Does My Portrait,” referencing the popular “My Boyfriend Does My Makeup,” and “Five Favorite Art Supplies,” which references “Five Favorite Makeup Products.” Homma is intentional in creating a character with a “girly” sensibility in order to criticize how people associate “likes,” “subscribers,” or “pink backgrounds” with her status as both a woman and an artist. The work challenges us to analyze our own stereotypes of gender and femininity and their relationship to art.