Perhaps inspired by presidential tweets, news headlines, and evidence of a growingly divided country, Foley finds diverse representatives of the American ideal. Her Muslim American Gothic most closely resembles Wood’s, from the small Gothic style window on the house to the standing pair with pitchfork in hand. But this brightly dressed couple gives new life to the original.
Her Puerto Rican American Gothic abandons Wood’s format and shows a couple standing against a patterned background of hurled paper towels. We are made aware of the connection to the original by a pitchfork entering the scene with one impaled roll aggressively forced at the couple.
Gay American Gothic takes place in a post marriage equality world. There are no bright pride floats or angry protests, just an utterly ordinary couple posing in their living room with their prized possession—a pair of Dolly Parton’s Shoes.
Beth Foley (b. 1951)
Nashville based artist Beth Foley creates precisely detailed, humorous, and peculiar paintings. Her latest series takes a “ripped from the headlines” approach by reimagining and updating the iconic and oft parodied masterpiece, American Gothic by Grant Wood. “I’ve always loved Grant Wood,” says the artist. “When I was in art school everyone made fun of him. Then I moved to San Francisco and went to his show and I felt so validated. I love people and painting people. For this show I started looking for couples that represent America now.”