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Ghada Amer: Happily Ever After?

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(Ghada Amer (American, Born Egypt, 1963). And the Beast, 2004. Acrylic, embroidery, and gel medium on canvas. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery. Photo courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.)

The exhibition, Ghada Amer: Love Has No End, continues to occupy our thoughts here at the Museum. In particular, the “Happily Ever After” section of the exhibition has struck a chord recently with its exploration of fairy tales and their impact on the psyche of young girls. Starting in 1992, Ghada Amer began to use some of the most treasured Disney cartoons and story book characters, like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Tinkerbell, Little Red Riding Hood, and even Barbie in her work. She really began to take an interest in how female stereotypes and roles of submission and passivity are perpetuated in fairy tales, myths, and toys, and how they function in the formation of children’s identities. Amer herself explains, “When we were young girls, fairy tales made us believe that we were all princesses who were going to meet a prince one day and live happily ever after.” If you missed Maura Reilly, Curator of the exhibition and the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art’s talk with the artist this past March, you’ll have another great opportunity to learn more about this topic, and other artworks in the exhibit Ghada Amer: Love Has No End when the artist speaks this weekend as part of the Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday events.

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(Barbie Loves Ken, Ken Loves Barbie, 1995/2002, Embroidery on cotton. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery. Photo courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.)