REQUIEM FOR A HOUSEWIFE, Gali Rotstein, Artist Statement

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A filmmaker came to interview artists about being an artist. According to her perspective, to be an artist one must look like an artist, live like an artist, starve like an artist, and work only 20% of your life for paint supplies and a roof for a very long time. I have worked and married outside of the art world and now that my resources afford me to live like a well-fed artist, my art constitutes as a “hobby.”

I was not interviewed.

Why do I have to fight the Housewife stigma in order to be accepted as an artist? Why can’t a Housewife be an artist in SOHO? Why do I hate the term “Housewife” so? Is it feminism? Am I disgruntled? It’s not only on Mondays that I cringe to be called Housewife. But what is wrong with the word? Why have we cloaked it in terms “Stay-at-Home Mom,” or “Primary Care Giver?” What does Housewife really mean? And why, why did I have to fight for the right to a studio? Why was it so hard to allocate the rent?

I am ANGRY. My vagina has been held hostage in the complicated relationship of marriage. I am CLEVER. I have used my vagina in the complicated relationship of marriage. I am BLESSED. My vagina has given birth to my pride and joy. I am FORTUNATE to have a vagina.

What is the perception of a Housewife? I don’t cook, I can. I don’t clean, I can. I am at my daughter’s side shadowing her like a net under a trapeze artist. I am a partner to my husband, navigating together a life that I take pride in. I have fed. I have nurtured. I have loved. I am Loved. I have solved conflict and created some battles. I get an occasional manicure. I have made us a home. And I relish in its walls.

I am a CEO. I am a CFO. I am COO. Am I a housed wife? Is this not enough? Is that all there is?

So I paint a REQUIEM to the word HOUSEWIFE.

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