Montclair Art Museum: “Fragile Freedoms: Maggie Meiners Revisits Rockwell” Exhibition

montclair art museum
Courtesy of Maggie Meiners

“Fragile Freedoms: Maggie Meiners Revisits Rockwell” is a series of 18 photographs (pictured, Skin Deep) that reinterpret Norman Rockwell’s iconic images and address contemporary issues, including racism, sexuality, gender roles and the impact of technology.

In Rockwell’s The Tattoo Artist (1944), to be lent by the Brooklyn Museum, a sailor sits down for an update on an old tattoo. Crossed out women’s names trail down his bicep as the tattoo artist adds a new love interest to the list. In Meiners’s reinterpretation of the scene, Skin Deep, a woman replaces the sailor and both men and women are included as her former flames. Embedded in multiple layers of meaning are ideas about the rise of women’s empowerment, growing acceptance of the variety of human sexuality, and the inner life often hidden by respectable, corporate exteriors.

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