Details:

This composition depicts a whimsical, romantic scene reminiscent of the nostalgic work of the painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell. At the same time, the style and incongruent grouping of objects are more aligned with underground comic book artists of Morgan's youth.
Framed: 32.5 x 24.5 x 1.5 in.

① Artwork:

Self-Portrait as Romanticized Painter

This composition continues the age-old practice of self-portraiture and still life painting. The whimsical, romantic scene is reminiscent in some ways of the nostalgic work of the painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell. At the same time, the style and incongruent grouping of objects—a coke bottle, loose Oreos, an improbable vase and eye-catching cleavage—are more aligned with underground comic book artists of Morgan's youth.

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.

Specs:

22 inches
30 inches
with frame
24.5 inches
32.5 inches

③ Artist:

Rebecca Morgan

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.

Rebecca Morgan:
Self-Portrait as Romanticized Painter, 2022
Watercolor and gouache on paper
30.0 × 22.0 inches /