Happy Girls Are The Prettiest is a new body of work by Madison Manning. A collection of paintings, collages and wearables, the work is that whole moment of eternity laying on the couch, taking in all of those paparazzi pictures from the Daily Mail Snapchat because you just refreshed your Facebook and Instagram and there is nothing new yet. The work is all of those hours you spent watching YouTube makeup tutorials for how to make your lips bigger with drugstore make up, all of that learning how you should look from watching the Kardashians, the Bachelor and everything else you consumed when we still had to use AIM and lived in a world without an internet filled with open discussions of feminism or body positivity or mental health awareness. The work is all of those times you watched HGTV or the Food Network as a ‘break’ but were still reminded of how you aren’t working hard enough on being pretty, or getting a job, or decorating your house all while looking like some gremlin that just crawled up from the sewer because you haven’t washed your hair today (haha, my body is 50% coffee, 50% dry shampoo).
My work is all of that anxiety of absolutely everything and the couches you laid on and the house you were in when you felt it, together, flattened out, distilled and formalized.
Born and raised in a Dallas suburb, Madison Manning is in her third year of her MFA at New Mexico State University. In her work, she uses seemingly dissonant materials, often hair and eyelashes, construction materials and textiles to create a new language of body; it’s spaces, places, feelings and fears all together at once. Her work is everything you feel and every place you feel in, at all once, collaged and flattened.
Madison has a BFA in Jewelry Design + Metalsmithing from Texas Tech University. She has shown at Women Made Gallery in Chicago, Mary Sky in Hancock, Vermont, with the Gowanus Swim Society in Brooklyn, New York as well as throughout Texas and New Mexico. In June of 2018, Madison will move her practice to Brooklyn, New York.