If you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading a mid-century men’s adventure magazine, you’ll immediately recognize their place in Nadine Boughton’s work. For the muscular strong men featured in the periodical pulp-fiction; wrestling alligators, shooting sharks and rescuing scantily clad damsels in distress was all in a days work. When Boughton ran across these 50s and early 60s magazines at the flea market, she wondered how they would look set against the sleek interiors of the same era. As she puts it, it’s “men’s adventure magazines or ‘sweats’ meets Better Homes and Gardens.”
“These photocollages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner.”
Boughton, with a background in psychology, has been fascinated with what lies behind the glossy appearance of these mid-century people. What was happening in the minds of these suburban dwellers so wrapped up in their strict gender roles, heavy drinking and constant striving for perfection? Her collages seamlessly weave these seemingly paradoxical goals together into the bizarre and beautiful world that was mid-century America. Find more of her work at nadineboughton.com.
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