Cosmopolitan 2010


Hannah Ghafary
(Royal Oaks, California)


Oil and Vinyl on Canvas


36” W x 48" H


Artist Statement:

Over the last year, my studio practice has involved studying female figures from Renaissance and Classical art. I recreate and paint these female figures (such as Botticelli's Venus for example) to appear as models on the “covers” of magazines such as Hustler, Penthouse, and Playboy. These “magazine covers” I paint feature real quotes from the headlines of these publications. In pairing real articles from real modern publications with centuries-old images of women who have come to embody western standards of beauty, my work highlights how everyday images of women are steeped in misogynistic ideals. I want my paintings to be confrontational and challenging to viewers, because they present a startling but necessary reminder that we as a society still have a long way to go in terms of social progress and equality. My work asks viewers to explore female identity, sexuality, race, and power in more complex ways.


This artwork references REAL Cosmopolitan Magazine headlines & articles published between 2005-2015. You can find the specific headlines I referenced for this piece on the covers of Cosmopolitan May 2010, Cosmopolitan July 2010, Cosmopolitan April 2009, Cosmopolitan February 2009, Cosmopolitan July 2013, Cosmopolitan October 2011, and Cosmopolitan (UK)October 2005. This painting depicts the famous ""Venus de Milo"" sculpture as the ""model"" on the cover of the magazine. As a woman and an artist, this canvas was a safe space for me to confront and consider the dichotomies that compose the archetype of ""the perfect woman"", the impossible balancing act required to be the kind of woman that the world around me promotes.