Presidents and Beauty Queens

Presidents and Beauty Queens


56 pages Risograph print in 12 colors
Softcover, 8″ x 10″
Edition of 100 copies

A Copy Shop residency publication
Printed by Endless Editions
with special thanks to Paul John

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.

Presidents and Beauty Queens, pages 16-17
Presidents and Beauty Queens, pages 18-19

The Good Girl Book

Good Girl Book Cover


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.

Good Girl Book Spread 1
Good Girl Book Spread 2

Really True

Really True Cover


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.

Really True

Mrs. Trotsky

Mrs. Trotsky 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.

Mrs Trotsky Spread

I Am Very Beautiful

I Am Very Beautiful 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

I Am Very Beautiful Spread


Rejects #seven


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

Rejects #sixteen
Rejects Spread

You Already Know

You Already Know Cover


A limited edition book by Pam Butler.
76 pages (with a total of 28 copies printed) printed by hand on a photocopier and a risograph at the print shop at “Learn To Read” a printed Matter exhibition at NYU’s 80WSE Gallery in Feb 2015.

The book was developed around images containing a feeling of dystopia or the end of the world inspired by a found image of signage at a drive through establishment.  The sign proclaimed “Global Warming is Baloney.  Drive thru open 24 hours.” From this phrase Butler weaves together a group of images that include depiction of parched earth, a lynching, baloney sandwiches, drainage pipes, drug adds, beauty queens and oil rigs. The feeling is a world, corrupt, degraded, and near its end. Yet “You Already Know”  retains a sense of humor as if to say “We’re all so f**ked so why not”.

You Already Know pp 32-33
You Already Know pp 40-41