Carnegie Museum of Art’s Forum series is a dynamic program of exhibitions by some of today’s most innovative contemporary artists. Initiated in 1990, the series has presented more than 80 exhibitions, including museum debuts for many artists who have gone on to achieve international renown.
A former department store window dresser, Rafferty draws on her skills as a merchandiser to create alluring artworks that challenge stereotypical notions of beauty and gender. Her Make-up Testers incorporate photographs of colorful palettes to address the role of cosmetics and advertising imagery in creating unrealistic societal standards. Rafferty also uses images of mannequins to underscore the disconnect between how bodies are “supposed” to look versus how they actually look. The artist also presents a new site-specific mural, THE DEAD 20TH CENTURY (What ♥ was saved), which acts as a backdrop to several works and covers the largest wall in the gallery with thumbnail images of items for sale in online art, design, and furniture auctions.
Installation photos: Bryan Conley