Britney Britney Britney.
15 hand drawn Britney portraits with collaged headlines ripped from the tabloids.
You know you love/hate Britney, get this piece of pop culture now while she's still hot.
A collaboration with the ubiquitous art genius Scott Seekins.
Gold Gocco hand-screenprinted cover.
Staple-bound. Photocopied. 4x5"-ish
Britney Spears may not be much of a pop icon anymore, but something in the story of her public rise and fall resonates with local artist Scott Seekins (you know him) who, perhaps as someone experienced in the creation and maintenance of his own image, has come to identify with Spears. In fact, a painting of a fantasy marriage between the two hangs at the top of my stairs and frightens the shit out of me every time I go to the second floor of my house.
This zine is a collaboration between Seekins and my friend Lacey who runs the Polka Ostrich zine empire. The sketches, mostly by Seekins if I'm not wrong, are accompanied by cut and paste titles describing her condition at the time. The zine is worth picking up for the strangely empty sketches of Spears by Seekins, whose work is rarely seen outside art galleries, but the zine's most interesting characteristics can be found in the ideas backing up Spear's depictions.
It seems to be in chronological order, charting her fall from perfect and pure (remember the virginity thing?) to self-hating tabloid example of what not to do. Although I'm sure there's already websites devoted to her life, these drawings do a good job representing the public's generic perception of her in each stage, molded by the same tabloids that brought her fame.
A Brittney zine could be written in endless angles: the exploitative side of the fame machine, the strange cultural obsession with teenage girls and disgust with grown women, or ruminations on mental illness. Toxic doesn't reject any of these, in fact maybe it embraces them, taking up the banner of that "Leave Brittney alone" kid on YouTube.
I hate to say it, because it's so obvious, but Brittney has always been marketed and loved as a symbol. She represented the hypersexualized virginal Barbie Americana with all its lack of complication. It was all marketing, but it'd be foolish to think it wasn't an ideal that attracts a lot of people. In a strange way, Toxic laments the loss of this innocence. It takes its activism seriously, even ending with a drawing of old Brittney alongside the battle-cry, "Let's go save her," which, in a way, I guess, is kind of sweet.