You Can Do it Too
"An erstwhile painter, Bonnie Paisley takes up the unusual medium of frosting in her deliciously disconcerting wall pieces, beautiful confections one hesitates to call 'paintings' even though acrylic and spray paint are sometimes involved, along with caulking, joint compound, and insulation. Paisley acknowledges her feminist forbears in the 1970s who worked to dispel prevailing prejudices against decorative and craft traditions. In these works, at once exalting and subverting the art of cake decoration, ironizing the notion of aesthetic 'taste,' she probes the boundaries among fine art, craft, and hobby, while exposing the contradictions and paradoxes still inherent today in being a woman and an artist." --Sue Taylor
This work developed from my interest in exploring my connection to my maternal grandmother, craft, and feminism more broadly. The elaborately decorated cake was held up as an icon of quintessential American femininity during the post war era. Many instructional text, produced by male "experts" took the craft to such a high degree of perfection that their implied warnings of failure suggested that a woman's very identity was being pulled from the oven and piped with frosting made from her past, present, and future self (to be admired and quickly consumed). I worked to "perfect" the craft and then to reimagine it in a more painterly manner, turning the process and it's layers of meaning, into something of my own.