Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Christy Singleton

Christy Singleton

Inspired by the various social landscapes of the US, Christy Singleton makes sculptures that tap contemporary social and cultural identity. Her work was included in "Silicone Valley" at PS1 MoMA. Christy was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
"With her work, Christy Singleton transmits this incongruously repellant allure. She uses silicone and cheap wigs to typify the visages of her hometown celebrities—the debutantes and ladies of leisure in the Old South. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, over 10.6 million cosmetic procedures were performed on women in the United States in 2007; the most common was the anti-wrinkle treatment, Botox. Singleton’s personal barometer of this driving cultural pressure on youthfulness and physical attraction is her native Atlanta, where a woman can feel as if her social and economic future is determined by her ability to uphold the community’s aesthetic standards. Like giant parade masks, Singleton’s oversized busts, impaled on gleaming silver poles, perform this conflation of looks and status, self-presentation and self-worth.

In the search for models, the artist culls society diaries and surgery websites. Working first in clay, she combines facial features from disparate sources; a nose from one photograph might be paired with the lips from another. Once the heads are cast in silicone, she incorporates plastic doll-eyes and carefully applies fake eyelashes and makeup, referencing the toy and cosmetic industries that continue to fuel unrealistic conceptions of female beauty. Though consciously ridiculous, Singleton’s images cannot be written off as purely derisive. They are as much mocking depictions of vanity as compassionate portraits of female disempowerment. With their wide eyes and frozen smiles, Singleton’s heads convey an eagerness and naivete that betrays their worldly trappings, fancy jewels and plunging necklines. With names like Fiona, Olivia, Zelda, Sissy, and Allimay, Singleton personalizes her vision, consequently repositioning the “superficial bitch” as the “girl next door” pathetically longing to be liked. The works forcibly channel that grotesque, yet natural, impulse felt by women throughout America: that making oneself prettier could amount to making oneself better." - From the Essay "Christy Singleton" by Cameron Shaw

View Christy Singleton's CV (PDF)

Images
"Belle"ZeldaTrixieSuellenInstallation view of work included in "Silicone Valley" PS1 MoMAInstallation view of work included in "Silicone Valley" PS1 MoMA

Location
Brooklyn, NY
USA

Contact
chsingleton@gmail.com

Text, images, audio, and/or video in the Feminist Art Base are copyrighted by the contributing artists unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.