Bettina Hubby’s Thanks for the Mammaries featured on The Creators Project 10.3.15
Kristin Calabrese. All images courtesy Thanks for the Mammaries.
‘Thanks for the Mammaries’ Battles Cancer with Contemporary Art
By Shana Nys Dambrot
Proving that boob jokes are the best medicine, artist Bettina Hubby turned her Facebook feed into a crowd-sourced art installation. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she didn’t want pity, she wanted to laugh, so she asked people to send her “boobs, not sadness.” Thanks for the Mammaries began as a Facebook call for art and ephemera which her friends—many of them artists—embraced with gusto, frequently in violation of FB’s capricious lady-nipple laws.
What began on Facebook came to fruition in a real-world exhibition four months later with entries from 125 artists. Her gallery, Klowden Mann, presented it as a pop-up installation. Now, one year later and in celebration of her “boobiversary” and full recovery, the project comes full circle, with Thanks for the Mammaries, the Facebook Feed. Hubby took the entire Facebook scroll and transformed it into a monumental full-color print on silk of the posts that poured in to support her breast cancer recovery. It’s about 32 feet wide by 8 feet tall.
Bettina Hubby’s Thanks for the Mammaries Facebook feed (detail).
As an artist, Hubby’s interdisciplinary work consistently takes the form of singular, holistic cross-platform projects around specific thematic concepts. In Get Hubbied she took over the myriad tasks of a wedding planner, hiring a cadre of contemporary artists to make and perform variations on all the rituals attending a real ceremony, which it was. For Eagle Rock Rock and Eagle Shop, she produced a site-specific pop-up store and gallery offering not only contemporary art but a veritable hoarder’s trove of crowd-sourced and eBay-culled vernacular crafts themed on the punny dualism.
This new mammary artwork is being purchased for Art Collection Cedar’s Sinai by a private collector and breast cancer survivor. It was important to Hubby to exhibit the show publicly and in October for breast cancer awareness month. Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) offered to install it by October 1 to double as the inauguration of their newly expanded Hollywood headquarters.
Thanks for the Mammaries clothing.
And because Hubby’s projects always have a book, LAND and Klowden Mann are working together to bring out the catalog for November—like the exhibition, it reflects not only the history but the ongoing expansion of the phenomenon in all its cheeky, artful, bouyant, and thorny glory. “One thing I delight in about the whole experience,” Hubby tells The Creators Project, “is that people still post boob-imbued images on my Facebook wall to this day. I guess they just can’t help themselves!”
Luigia Gio Martelloni