Illustration

Amanda Manitach's T-Shirt Girls and Wallpaper Commentary

March 29, 2017

Amanda Manitach is a curator and artist in Seattle and her drawings and watercolors are ethereal and foreboding. 

In her large drawings, text melts into vibrating, hallucinatory design sourced from a 1885 French wallpaper sample. The pattern harkens to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” With them, Manitach invokes a similar defiant, obsessive physicality to the protagonist, making drawings up to 30 feet long rendered with a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. The resulting work is the product of frottage: smudged, worn and covered with traces of the body.

Texts incorporated in the work are sourced from the Internet; quotes from figures viewed as “hysterical” or suggesting otherness and outsider mores; and pop culture memes. Combined, they offer a response to cliches that embody the intersection of western medicine, pathology, feminism and female sexuality, from Charcot's hysterics to the 21st century Xanax-infused housewife.

Drawings and paintings are just part of Manitach's output. She also dabbles in film, photography, writing and performance. Lurk around on her web site to find seductive videos and unusual images, such as her series about a pair of red high heels piercing some unlucky red beets.