Dirty Feet Odalisque
This painting sets a classical female nude among the imagined messy realities of rural life, from a wayward puff of pubic hair to feet dripping with wholesome country mud.
Imbued with folk tradition and a sly sense of humor, Rebecca Morgan's work subverts the stereotypes of Appalachia by peeling apart our culture's simultaneous reverence and disgust for rural people. Stylistically, the artist embraces the hyper-detailed naturalism of Dutch masters, as well as absurd, repulsive caricature suggestive of underground cartoonists like R. Crumb. Although they often contain modern clues, Morgan's characters and scenes evoke a romanticized, nostalgic America—nonexistent but wistfully recalled, much like Norman Rockwell’s illustrations. Morgan’s works question what such images were selling in the first place. Born in central Pennsylvania, the artist gives her archetypal maids, hillbillies and dandies the space to explore contemporary issues, including: women reclaiming their subjectivity, a pop-cultural false sense of romance and ideas about masculinity—as well as power, escapism and hedonistic backwoods pleasure.
Rebecca Morgan’s work employs folk tradition and a sly sense of humor to subvert stereotypes of Appalachia in romanticized scenes that nostalgically recall a nonexistent America. The artist’s compositions employ the hyper-detailed naturalism of Dutch masters, as well as absurd, repulsive caricature suggestive of underground cartoonists like R. Crumb. Encompassing painting, drawing, and ceramics, Morgan’s work peels apart the simultaneous reverence and disgust for rural people—questioning what popular images of the region were aiming to sell in the first place.