Susannah Bettag
British, born 1968

Susannah Bettag comments on female identity, motherhood, and sexuality through the iconography of Pop Art. Applying multiple layers of paint, and placing cartoonish shapes and characters behind and atop intricate patterns derived from traditional women’s crafts, she situates her serious concerns within the cute and aesthetically pleasing. Biomorphic shapes like larvae, mushrooms, and other ephemera that typically escape attention fascinate her. Her paintings and sculptures have striking similarities to anime and manga styles, particularly the work of Takashi Murakami, but recast in a universal feminist light. She is most renowned for the character “Boo” that appears in much of her work. Though adorable and toy-like, Boo makes serious demands of the viewer, often referencing the exploitation of women through hardcore pornography and imposed gender roles.

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