The Satirical Guide to Bust Culture
The Complete Guide to Bust Culture, A. F. Niemoeller (1944)
Hand sewn fabric images and letterpress additions in red and gold.
The Satirical Guide to Bust Culture (2015) began with an outdated book, written by a man, that reflects heteronormative gendered dynamics and perceptions in the 1930s–40s, particularly in regard to the female bust. I deconstructed the book and refashioned it as a satire from a contemporary feminist’s perspective. The responses are comical and punchy, with undertones of the sexist message that the book originally contained. The letterpress type over the original text subverts the original message and infuses it with my own interpretation. The hand-stitched assemblage imagery that was inserted into the book directly responds to the original text with comical images of breasts, emphasizing the original, male-oriented message. It was my hope to both reveal the dark and hysterical in the original text through satire, as well as to destigmatize the symbol of the breast.
Ivy Guild, a San Diego-based artist, graduated in August 2021 with an MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine. Guild’s work considers the sinister side of evolutionary survival and environmental justice, speculating on a world after the Sixth Great Extinction and diving into speculative realms of investigation. Pedagogy is key to Guild’s practice and she is a Studio Art faculty member at La Jolla Country Day School.