Miss U.S.A.

Rebeccah Power

Miss USA Rebeccah Power

Rebeccah Power, Miss U.S.A. (2010), ink and watercolour on Fabriano paper, 70cm x 50cm

The artist works within a variety of media spanning painting, drawing, photography, projection and digital imaging. This portrait comes from Rebeccah Power’s International Art Force series, one of three acquired by Council in 2013. These colourful ink drawings depict women from around the world who work in the police force and military.

Coming from a feminist standpoint, Power’s work addresses issues of gender, female power and sexuality. By looking at women in particular categories, such as job type, interests and social and economic groups, she aims to question the stereotypes that are often attributed to women. The combination of these images, with titles such as Miss U.S.A, Miss Italy and Miss Japan, strengthen the meaning of the works through the contrast between the powerful portraits and the reference to the outdated and submissive role of women that is perpetuated in beauty pageants.

Power’s work contains great tension and drama created by the visceral tactility of the materials she employs. This effect symbolically highlights the poignant combination of fragility and strength in her subjects to reinforce their meaning.

Rebeccah Power is currently a member of Council’s Visual Arts Panel. She is also developing a public art project in the City of Yarra.