Highlighting Dawn Roscoe

Artist Dawn Roscoe caught my eye at the Barcelona Foto Biennale with two images from her series, Exquisite Suburbia: http://www.dawnroscoe.com/exquisite-suburbia-2/


In the above image, titled The Makeup Lesson, Dawn captions with the following: “From Exquisite Suburbia, a work focusing on how mothers living in a demanding world full of family obligations, career goals, and beauty ideals are responding to the standard definition of the ‘perfect woman.’ Multitasking moms are desperately trying to juggle chores and errands while encouraging their children and fostering a happy marriage.”

Dawn’s photos; the Barbie face on a real woman’s body as she applies makeup with her daughter watching, and then sits, poised and emotionless, for a portrait with her family… are images I won’t soon forget. Like an episode of the Twilight Zone that gives me goosebumps because it’s story hits too close to home. Dawn’s photos make me uncomfortable, as they are supposed to. In this age of objectification and botox injections and eating disorders and a lack of mental health care, in which women are expected to fill a great many roles all at once but human isn’t one of them… are there not millions of Barbie masks worn daily by millions of American women?


Dawn Roscoe is an active public exhibitor of her art and the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including the 11th Julia Margaret Cameron Award in 2017 and hence, her exhibition in Barcelona this year. Her family is featured in much of the work on her website, in particular her two daughters in the series, Best Friends: http://www.dawnroscoe.com/best-friends/

To see more of Dawn Roscoe’s work, please see her website: http://www.dawnroscoe.com/