Commercializing Collage

An artist finds a business model that works for her

Taintor feels that her art is enduring because the sardonic, feminist messages she channels through her collages are things women still feel today.

Taintor has met some of the models who once posed in the old magazines she uses for collage, and she has stayed in touch with some of them over the years. “These were working women—they weren’t women who were in love with their refrigerator,” Taintor says, mentioning her friend Barbara who was both putting herself through school and supporting a family when she modeled for the magazines all those years ago. “They weren’t the housewives they portrayed [in magazines], and they thought it was pretty darn funny.”

Though gender dynamics have evolved considerably in the intervening decades, Taintor believes that themes of gender stereotyping that are central to her artwork remain relevant today.

Her work is not always easy, as anything can go wrong. She talks about a typhoon happening in China right now in the same town where her products are produced. She doesn’t know if she’ll get her January shipment in time. She talks about needing to problem-solve when her products have strange issues, like the glue not being sticky enough or the size being wrong.

But every so often a customer will reach out with a note of encouragement. One of these came in an email recently, and Taintor cut it out and put it on her desk: “You made my crappy day better.  Thanks.”


Ginny C. Fahs ’14 is a history and literature concentrator in Quincy House. Her column looks at Harvard alums who pursued unconventional career paths and appears on alternate Fridays.


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