Ideal Woman: Necklace
Artist Allie Pohl is your local, friendly feminist. Her art “falls into the category of feminist satire packaged in a post-modern wrapper.” Meaning it makes a statement without being scary or militant. Allie’s latest project, Ideal Woman: Necklace, modeled after a Barbie torso, is her way of bringing her message to the public in a meaningful and easily accessible way. Here, she tells us about her inspiration and her process.
Tell us about your background.
I am from Winter Park, Florida. I graduated from Hamilton College in upstate New York where I was a Communications major and a Studio Art minor. Then I received a post graduate degree in Graphic Design from Parsons, The New School for Design, in New York City. Currently, I am a couple of months away from completing my MFA in Electronic Media Arts and Design at the University of Denver.
What is the process of creating the Ideal Woman necklace?
I am very interested in the concept of body hair and hair removal. I created a series of slip cast sculptures using a Barbie (the ideal woman) as my example and had chia pet grow out of areas of unwanted hair: the armpit, midsection, and leg. During that process, I fell in love with the shape of the midsection and started to explore different possibilities. I created a design based upon the shape of the midsection which was then laser cut in Lucite. Using technology as part of the process is important because in this digital age, women are inundated with images that culturally outline feminine beauty. Often, these commercially packaged versions of beauty are simply illusions created by advanced technology, such as digital image alteration and/or plastic surgery resulting in “cookie cutter women.”
What is the message behind the Ideal Woman necklace? What inspired it?
I created Ideal Woman: Necklace to reflect my belief that society is obsessed with the image of “the perfect woman.” The necklace demonstrates our culture’s desire to emulate a look that seems naturally impossible to attain. My artistic objective is to critique cultural trends that I find impractical or destructive to the female form. The advent and progress of technology has also changed our perception of the “real,” and, in turn, women’s idealized beauty. This leads to the conflict of the real and the mediated self. As an artist, I strive to express the absurdities, conflicts, and hypocrisies society presents about “ideal” women.
Why a necklace?
Everybody can wear a necklace!
Is there a significance behind the colors chosen?
For the first edition I selected colors that are opposites on the color wheel. For the second edition, just released in March, I started to look at the necklaces as a collection. I like wearing two necklaces together, so I wanted to pick colors that compliment the first edition and each other. I like really bright colors, so I tend to choose colors that are eye catching and that make a statement.
Your background is largely as a traditional and installation artist. Are you planning on more jewelry, or expanding the Ideal Woman line?
I plan on continuing the Ideal Woman line, but that is not to say that other jewelry designs won’t be in my future!
What projects are coming up for you?
I am currently working on a solo show titled “Ideal Woman: 36-24-36” which will take place this March 26- April 26 at the Hinterland Gallery, in Denver. This unique exhibition encourages visitors to view and help “mold” sculptural forms that are the dimensions of “perfect woman.” I am also finishing up the second edition of Ideal Woman: Necklace. My next big project is writing my thesis!
To purchase your own Ideal Woman: Necklace, and find out more about Allie’s art and philosophy, visit AlliePohl.com. After you purchase your necklace, visit idealwoman.wordpress.com to share the comments and reactions you receive when wearing it!