‘Domesticity Gone Wrong’ Featured in Catapult’s Artist of the Month Exhibit


The Catapult Creative House Student Studios are holding their second Artist of the Month exhibition this year with “Domesticity Gone Wrong” featuring the work of Southeast Missouri State University artist Maria Esswein.

The exhibition is currently on view on the second floor of Catapult Creative House, 612 Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau, and will run through February with a closing reception to be held for 5-9 p.m. on Friday, March 1.

Anchored in the bold and visibly brash, Maria Esswein’s exhibition “Domesticity Gone Wrong” explores feminism and the stereotypes surrounding domesticity. Comprised of a collection of photos depicting –as the artist states — the “anti-housewife,” the exhibit presents viewers with a satirical sense of normalcy. Through moments of relatability, the absurd or ostensibly mundane, the artist ultimately disarms the viewer and creates an approachability.

Marrying Roy Lichtenstein’s melodramatic pop stylings with Cindy Sherman’s narrative-based constructs on contemporary identity, Esswein creates individual moments that range from amusing to affecting. In “No Flash Photography, Please!” the artist herself sits on the toilet and is abruptly interrupted by the viewer. Visually arresting, the piece confronts issues from privacy to the male gaze. Each of Esswein’s images plays on the nature of private spaces and intimate moments, ones that are stereotypically associated with domesticity. And with an arsenal of gestures and buoyed by aggressive colors, the subject/artist wrestles control back from the accompanying stereotype.

Each month and as a part of a program to promote community-based and integrated art making, a student artist is chosen to exhibit his or her work at Catapult Creative House’s Student Studio Gallery. These exhibitions showcase a range of work from individual artists that highlights their personal and professional artistic explorations as a part of the southeast Missouri art community. These artists explore the physicality of the human condition, its relationship to nature, and the role of art in contemporary society. In addition to the exhibition, visitors are welcome to tour the studio spaces, view ongoing projects and engage with the artists.