Martine Johanna’s “The Grand Illusion of Sanity” Examines the Ol’ “Crazy” Woman Trope

There’s usually a simple go-to response whenever a guy breaks up with a girl and is questioned on what happened: “She’s crazy.” No follow-up questions are needed; the crazy ex-girlfriend archetype is simply one we’re all too familiar with. But how fair is it to group all female mental illness into recognizable tropes, diminishing them of their humanity? ArtistĀ Martine Johanna‘s seriesĀ The Grand Illusion of Sanity seeks to analyze this societal conundrum. In her series, her contemporary paintings put a visual spin on Johanna’s fascination with so-called “hysterical” women and the struggle to achieve one’s mental freedom from societal pressures. If sanity is merely a societal construct, then isn’t everyone a little insane? We included a few pieces in the slideshow, but remember to browse the full thing.