Picasso had his Blue Period; artist Emily Deutchman had her Boob Period. It began two years ago, when she found herself struggling with a case of “painter’s block.” The 24-year-old Skidmore graduate was living in New York, working at an art-focused talent agency, and unable to get anything on paper except doodles of women’s breasts. Those, for some reason, flowed freely and abundantly from hand to paper and a bunch of other surfaces. “I was doodling breasts on napkins, coffee coasters, on everything really, everywhere I went,” she recalls. At a bar one night, during this period of mammary preoccupation, Deutchman’s friend suggested she try to sketch a couple of their friends sitting across the table from them. She balked. “I remember saying, ‘No! I can’t! It won’t look like them, and I’ll be frustrated!’” she says. Then the friend suggested, “Well, just put boobs on their face.” That was an idea she could work with.
Six months later, Presidents with Boob Faces was born. “I decided to slap breasts on president’s faces for a number of reasons,” says Deutchman. “I wanted a series, but I also wanted a series to which people would inevitably attach meaning and intent.” Her full collection of tit-faced commanders-in-chief debuted this fall at the Living Gallery in Bushwick. Of course, the exhibit raised the inevitable question: What does it all mean? Is it a commentary on the many silly boobs we’ve appointed to rule our great nation? Or a critical statement on the lack of women (and breasts) in our storied political history? She laughs at these questions. “I didn’t set out with an agenda.” Deutchman explains. “I enjoy the fact that the project lends itself to a lot of inquiry and discussion, but can also just be enjoyed on a purely humorous level. You don’t have to be educated or knowledgeable about the political system in order to like them. They’re boobs on a president’s face.” For a sampling of her work, plus an explanation on why she put certain boobs on specific facial features, click ahead to see the Cut’s slideshow.