Lyndsie Fox has her hands (literally) in many different creative fields - ranging from drawing and painting, to ceramics and woodworking, embroidery and pyrography, to collage and stained glass. However, most of her work in the past decade has been an ongoing series of hand-stitched needlepoints and latch hook rugs, exploring the dynamics of sex and sexuality via portraits of 60s-70s era adult film performers.
In the artist's own words: "I am a female fiber artist, creating handmade portraits of old porn stars based on imagery sourced directly from 60s-70s era adult films and nudie magazines (or, as I like to say, “creating art my father does not understand.”) For years, I had been hand-stitching small, delicate needlepoints of these nude stars. But recently I have transitioned into latch-hooks, which allows me to create larger work with even more texture. The latch hooks have a shag-rug-like texture, very evocative of the retro decor of the time, which imbues the work with a rich, nostalgic sensuality. Much like the figures featured in each portrait, this plush finish yearns to be touched.
Beyond the punchline of porn as “fine art”, these nostalgic portraits celebrate female sexuality and the innate sensuality of the human form - with all the natural meat and hair and folds that our contemporary society shuns. In light of our world’s aggressive erasure of natural human characteristics and the absurdity of modern beauty standards, I try to focus on bodies that are NOT slim, white, hairless, and doctored. The world does not need another portrait of a skinny white woman - in porn, especially. The world needs accurate representation of the full spectrum of bodies that exist (and have always existed), and to value these real “minority” bodies instead of an unattainable ideal. It should go without even saying that sex workers, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, fat, disabled, and all other minority folx are beautiful, sexy, whole, and deserving - but here we are, still shouting it into the void. If nothing else, at least these portraits serve to interrupt the monotonous stream of white-centric, fat-phobic, contemporary media.
The “feminine craft” arena of fiber arts is rife with anti-egalitarianism - and therein lies the root of my passion for this work. Here, what began as delicate handiwork of the docile homemaker has now become an ironic confrontation of domesticity, gender roles, and white male privilege - all while using The Man’s very own self-serving, pornographic imagery. By sourcing from media created by and for the male gaze, these fiber portraits subvert the oppressive values of the sex work industry, the media/art world, and the patriarchy at large.
In addition to celebrating sexuality and diversity, a portion of each sale will be donated to a charitable organization out of respect for sex workers throughout the ages and their fundamental role in my work’s imagery. I could not do what I do without them."