Artist-Parents in Contemporary Art: Gender, Identity, and Domesticity


Artist-Parents in Contemporary Art: Gender, Identity, and Domesticity




City of Publication

New York

Date of Publication

June 2020




This book calls attention to artists’ representations of parenting, their children, and the domestic as a critical and much needed reflection on contemporary life. Artists have long been parents but rarely have they dealt with it as the subject matter of their art—this has significantly changed in the contemporary period. I assert that the championing of the simultaneous linkage of art and parenting by contemporary artists reflects a conscientious self-fashioning of a new kind of identity, one that I am calling the ‘artist-parent.’ By examining the work of three artists from distinct national backgrounds—Guy Ben-Ner, Elżbieta Jabłońska, and the collective Mothers and Fathers—this project reveals how these artists have engaged with the domestic and personal in order to articulate larger issues of parenting in contemporary life. Through this examination of three case studies of artist-parents, we begin to see the social, political and artistic pressures that circumscribe contemporary parenting. The artists highlighted in this project, enter this discourse to make sense of their own identities, of their own roles as cultural workers and parents, and to show that art about children, the domestic, and parenting need not be kitschy, sentimental, or saccharine.



“Artist-Parents in Contemporary Art: Gender, Identity, and Domesticity,” Artist Parent Index , accessed July 15, 2024,

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