October 7, 2021
Size (h w d): 36 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Oil On Canvas
The reference photo Madison used for this painting was taken in front of the grotto at the Playboy mansion, an American pop-culture time capsule which remained nearly untouched for the 45 years that Hugh Hefner owned it. The mansion was symbolic of the partying, debauchery, and sexual freedom that entered the mainstream culture of mid-century America.
Although women had easier access to contraception, and it became more socially acceptable to express themselves sexually during this time, there was ubiquitous use of substances like Spanish fly and quaaludes, which were used to drug and sedate women (ultimately making it easier to sexually violate them). There are allegations that Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted a Playmate at a mansion party in 1974. Says Madison, "A quote I read from one of his depositions kept echoing through my head as I painted this. He said he would use quaaludes “the same as a person would say, have a drink." This statement haunts me. It underlines the incongruous components of the sexual revolution and makes me wonder what fragments of those components are still lingering around today."