Lotion Issue 9 – Date Night (52 pages)
Issue #9 “Date Night” is an illustration of the depravity found at the intersection of artist Alex Blag’s instagram images and text messages collaged with artist Pam Butler’s images of dead and blown up bodies, princesses and beauty queens, scribbled musings, and insects. Insect bites, cow tongues, a shark, and abandoned dolls are set against a backdrop of worn out suburbia and its inherent loneliness. Included are text messages from a brief virtual affair Alex was having during Butler and Blag’s collaboration and a photo of Alex’s son making out with a statue.
Pam Butler’s work as an artist from her Good Girl Poster project of the 1990s to her work with Beauty Pageants and with iconic paintings of women from the Western Art Cannon has focused on the female and the visual vocabulary used to enforce a female’s expected place in the social order. Her new project, which she has just begun to develop, “Who’s The Prettiest of All,” juxtaposes against this lexicon of the female imagery that denotes masculine stereotypes and masculine social myths. In this pairing she is exploring how the arch of gendered stereotypes and norms serve as a defining and controlling mechanism of the overall culture.
This project began its exploration of male stereotypes with portraits of the 45 American Presidents (all male to date). “Who’s The Prettiest of All” works with these portraits of the presidents as the counter to imagery in her “The Miss America Pageant” series which depicts contestants from that pageant circuit. This book, Presidents and Beauty Queens, takes scans of her drawings and watercolors of both the contestants and the presidents and mixes them with found imagery to develop a biting commentary on power and sexuality in contemporary culture.
Lotion Issue 8 – Be A Happy Person (52 pages)
For issue #8 of Lotion Pam Butler asked her friend Lisa Levy to collaborate. Both Butler and Levy had seen the over lap in their work since Lisa first introduced herself to Butler at an event at Studio10.
In mixing and collaging works from Levy’s word painting series “The Thoughts In My Head” with their cutting irony and self debasing phrases with her own work Butler achieved an issue that screams of low self esteem mixed with cutting social commentary and an edge that almost borders on cruel. A Levy line reads “If I’ve never offended you, we’re not that close.” and a note pulled from an old sketch book of Butler’s reads “I’ll do whatever you want me to do just so you’ll like me”. Words, found, written & painted mingle with peeing dogs, smiley faces, ducks, bunny rabbits and an image taken from the shower scene in Psycho and found posted on the street one halloween.
Lotion Issue 7 – the PamTam issue (52 pages)
Starting with s group of collaborative drawings that Pam Butler and Tamara Gonzales did sometime around 2012 issue 7 adds photographs Butler took at or near the house Gonzales had at the time in Walton NY. As much as a residence Gonzales’ home was an installation of Gonzales’ art collection, doll, taxidermied animals and knick knack collections all reconfigured into a Gonzales art installation which Butler often photographed on her visits there. Added to these are photographs from the local county fair, a few additional drawings by Butler and photographs by Gonzales. All laid out into an issue that is both whimsical and angry, effusive and defaced, sweet and pornographic, exposed and defiantly vulnerable.
Lotion Issue 6 – Infected Fall 2017 (52 pages)
This issue of Lotion was inspired by a history of image sharing via text messages between Pam Butler and the artist Leigh Ledare which often would include a needling of each other to come up with more outrageous or gross pictures. Using a group of photographs taken by each artist and found images that came from the projects each were working on at the time. (Ledare’s project “The Plot” for the Chicago Art Institute and Butler’s show “As Object” curated by LeDare at Baxter Street at CCNY in NYC – both fall of ’17) Butler developed issue 6.
For her starting point she used a picture Ledare took of a port-o-potty next to a billboard advertising pinworm medicine in a Hassidic section of Brooklyn. Vintage porn mix with found images of beauty queens, descriptions of pinworms and how they spread are followed by road kill pictures of rats and somewhere a theme of flying, ballistic missiles and someone playing ping-pong with their dick create a not necessarily optimistic take on the state of the current moment.
Black & White, 256 pages, Softcover, 8½ x 11 x 1 in
Printed in an edition of 1,000 copies (For information on the limited editon of the book contact mooreartpress209.)
Using the “girlish” perspective artist Pam Butler developed in her street posters “Good Girl Project” she builds The Good Girl Book into a relentless, ironic and humorous critique of the fears and fantasies that continue to dominate our cultural dialogue as well as our personal self awareness.
The “Good Girl Project” was a series of posters plastered on city streets in the 1990s. Using bold marker lines in her signature cartoonish style the project was a public meditation on a search for self in our world of the prepackaged, homogenized and stereotyped. These drawings, mostly of women, were mixed with words and phrases such as “good girl,” “slut,” “bitch,” and “suppose I was very beautiful.” (The Daily news said of Butler at the time “she makes you think, actually think as you walk down the street.”)
The book picks up where this project left off delving deeper into the internal madness wrought by contemporary imagery and messaging. New material is added, such as drawings of astronauts, and “cute” forest animals along with scattered text, and ephemera from the street project, bringing new layers of angst to the original material. The original posters appear in the book cropped manipulated and collaged, or sometimes left just as drawn. Photos of the posters as installed on city streets, also cropped, collaged and as taken, keep the book grounded in the original grit of it’s source as an intervention in public space.
In conjunction with Blonde Art Books featuring of her Good Girl Book at the Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair in July 2016 Butler did a large wall installation. This installation was composed of images from the Good Girl Book as well as drawings and laser prints which focused on the themes in the Good Girl Book and Good Girl Project and were made especially for this installation.
What is true, really true? What is true value? And Fake? This little book plays with the word true, trying to locate it but not. And for awhile it flirts with fake, fake princess (a picture of an early 60s Miss America with Ivanka Trump’s face super imposed over it). It ends with the word hysterical.
40 pages 5.5” x 8.5”
xerox with laser printed cover.
Visiting the Trotsky house in Mexico City Butler became fascinated by Mrs. Trotsky. Where was she, how did she feel, when Trotsky was engaged in an affair with Frida Khalo. From where did she muster her strengths as her children and then her husband were killed by Stalin and his agents. A brilliant and beautiful woman seen by history only through the story of her husband.
This book is made from photos I took at the Trotsky house, including pictures from the garden as well as the bullet hole covered wall of the first murder attempt and pictures of the ice pick that ultimately was the successful weapon that took her husband’s life. I have used found images pulled from the web to further flesh out the story.
40 pages 5.5” x 8.5”
xerox with laser printed cover.
A running theme through much of Butler’s work has been affirmation phrases. She finds in these phrases a scream for things to be otherwise – the wish that if I say so it can be so. If I think I’m ugly I can make myself feel otherwise by repeating the opposite. If I am poor I can convince myself I’m about to become rich just by saying a phrase such as “My positive money thoughts are coming true.” They play into the eternal wish to not be who or where we are. That we can rub our ruby slippers and be elsewhere and otherwise. That the circumstances of our life can be controlled by assuming the correct positive mind set.
This small book uses the phrase “I Am Very Beautiful” to play around with the perversity at the heart of this way of wishful thinking.
28 pages 5.5” x 8.5”
xerox with laser printed cover
Lotion Issue 5 – Hangdoggy Go Go Winter 2017 (52 pages)
Issue 5 began with a drawing Butler found when going through journal’s from her 20s – a line of beleaguered droopy stick figures with the word go repeated underneath. These figures along with an image of a dying chrysanthemum form a rhythm which runs though through this issue. Older drawings and notes from Butler’s old journals mix with photos from a county fair, from bereft window displays, and a found image of a face melted by white phosphorous in the Iraq war and other photos. Towards the end of issue 5, there are two images of a couple in a small town park. She knits, he stares at the camera. In the second image a woman in a burka walks past them.
Lotion Issue 4 – Not Christmas Spring, Summer, Fall 2016 (52 pages)
“Not Christmas”, issue 4 of lotion, takes the 3 seasons not covered in the winter ’16 issue (#3), spring, summer & fall and moves through them sequentially. Layered overtop of the seasons is the pathos of things being not quite right, not really working out. Scraps of paper with lists and notes, pages pulled from Butler’s old journals and drawings are collaged with seasonally appropriate photos – daffodils on the front cover, a drunk laying in fallen leaf strewn grass on the back cover, and in the middle is a photo of a beach, empty save for rows of trash cans and beach parking signs.
Issue 3 – Chickens Winter 2016 (52 pages)
In issue 3 Butler juxtaposes images of winter, Santa Claus, Easter bunnies and chickens with images of lottery logos and thoughts about winning. This issue of lotion is a contemplation of capitalism and its morphing of scared holidays into international tools of consumerism. The play of imagery here implies a trap has been made and we are locked into its vacant hold.
When making her xerox books Butler is left with stacks of papers she ran through the machine incorrectly or were rejected trial images. She takes these pages and runs them through the machine again, sometimes multiple times, building up a rich layers of images. She then sorts through the pages finding ways in which different images and layers of images on each page can form relationships and rhythms with the images on other pages. Once a good set is developed she prints a unique color laser front & back cover and staples them into a book.
each book is app. 40 to 46 pages.
8.5” x 11”
2016-17 (and on going)
xerox with laser printed cover.
As each reject book is unique, the artist will choose which edition will be included with any order. If you have specific inquiries about the books, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue 2 – Étant Donné Fall 2015 (46 pages)
For the 2nd issue of Lotion, Butler took her work in deconstructing icons of the female figure in the modern art cannon, in this issue using Duchamp’s Étant Donné, around which to weave together a contemplation on the female in art as sexualized object scrutinized by and for the masculine gaze. The perspective is personal and feminist as it delves into various aspects of this very complicated piece. Butler uses not just the figure but other symbolic imagery (gaslight, waterfall, etc.) within this work to explore what she sees as her relationship to this piece and it’s seminal importance in post modern art.