fbpx Men Seldom Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses | Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
In her work, Smith often melds words and objects to analyze myths about the American Dream. Using found items and familiar texts, Smith charts types and stereotypes from recent American history. In this piece, the artist juxtaposes Dorothy Parker’s cautioning quip, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses”—which has become a part of the cultural vocabulary of Americans—and the mysterious allure of Marilyn Monroe’s sunglassed visage. Smith’s piece comprises many layers: on top of a 10-by-15-foot solarized mural of Monroe painted directly on the gallery wall are placed two collages—the angular, silvery blue-green frames of which function both as “art” for the wall and stylish “shades” for the Hollywood star. The collages/sunglasses are composed of images of well-padded football players on top of which Smith has layered lipstick traces, a letterman’s letter, an eye-exam chart, and Parker’s familiar phrase. In the piece, Smith concurrently asks the question: What is sexy? And who is gazing at whom?