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Contact: Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa


Italian American Museum
Artiste Italiane
Women Artists of Italian Heritage

Artist: Daniella Day
Goddesses of Good Housekeeping
Mixed media on canvas
9 x 12 in.

Daniella Day received her BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. She studied drawing, painting, and sculpture and picked Restoration as the focus of her studies. After graduating Magna Cum Laude, she was awarded a post-graduation internship in Florence, Italy, with four other classmates who were also specially selected from her program. Daniella exhibits her contemporary mixed media pieces, and paintings, in art shows nearly every month, mostly on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Additionally, she is the manager of the Italian American Museum in Little Italy. She also lives, loves, creates, and volunteers in Little Italy, the fourth generation of her family to do so.

Artist Statement

I created this piece specifically for the exhibition Artiste Italiane. Inspired by the March 1951 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, I wanted to pay tribute to the women featured in the pages, who were depicted as sunny homemakers, their roles pre-determined for them during that time period. The most exalted woman, to me, appeared in an ad for V-8 vegetable juice with the tagline “V-8 has lively flavor and Goodness,” so I changed Goodness into Goddess. The second ad that appealed to me was a woman reclining in bed. I noticed she was almost interchangeable with the woman in the V-8 ad, as advertisements back then were not only whitewashed, but so uniformly 1950s fashion flavored.
I portrayed the central woman in the collage as “The Empress” from a deck of Tarot Cards. She is reclining on her throne (a bed), and surrounded by other women of her time who are also portrayed as saints or angels. “The Empress” has a halo/crown that also doubles as a stylish bathing cap. The rays protruding from it are made from a tape measure. Although she is shown relaxing, and perhaps about to go swimming after taking a nap, her mind is always on homemaker matters – perhaps sewing some curtains, or adding up the cost of items on her impending grocery lists. The other elements of the piece subtly elude to the feminine beauty of a woman’s body and are also collaged from additional advertising pages in Better Homes and Gardens. Lastly, the blue numbered cards are from a vintage Tombola game that belonged to my grandparents. They likely played with those very cards in the 1950s. Tombola was imported to the U.S. by Italian immigrants who came to the U.S. in massive numbers from Italy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tombola is the equivalent of Italian bingo.

I was curious to see who the woman in the original V-8 ad actually was, and the first bit of information I found is shared bellow. She is described as follows in the March 8th edition of The New York Times:
“Teresa Wright, was a high-minded ingénue who marshaled intelligence and spunk to avoid being typecast as another 1940's ‘sweater girl,’ and became the only actor to be nominated for Academy Awards for her first three films.”

Contact: daniella.day@gmail.com

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