Last month I returned to Los Angeles for an art opening and passed the spot that inspired my painting Not Interested. Unsurprisingly, the advertisement on the bench was largely unchanged after twelve months. The model was different, but the marketing was the same. And I see this in every city I visit.
Having worked in marketing for 15 years, I’ve always been interested in the drivers that motivate people, many of which are dishonest at worst, or manipulative at best. I saw this advertising campaign for women’s jeans on benches around Los Angeles. The image had been Photoshopped to a ridiculous degree — beyond the basic touch-ups that have become the norm. The model’s body was curved to an impossible angle. It’s an overly sexualized image, which would largely appeal to men, but is being used to sell a product to women, which will seemingly make them appealing to men.
Too often, advertising uses the low hanging fruit of insecurities in an attempt to make women feel inadequate while at the same time distorting how men understand beauty. Without getting too philosophical, I was fascinated by the idea of this guy sitting there, completely uninterested in the marketing ploy, and thought it perfect for satirical commentary.