Art & Design

Molly Wurwand Says "Long Live the MILF" With First Solo Exhibition

Now open at Junior High in Los Angeles.

30,358 Hypes

Molly Wurwand Says "Long Live the MILF" With First Solo Exhibition

Now open at Junior High in Los Angeles.

Milfs have been a cultural fascination for decades, from the iconic “Stacy’s Mom” music video by Fountains of Wayne to the countless films and TV shows featuring the archetype. But for artist Molly Wurwand, the Milf is more than just a pop culture icon, it’s a lifelong obsession and an embodiment of beauty, complexity and gender-bending glamor; the patron saint of Los Angeles.

Now, at Junior High, a community arts space in L.A. that prioritizes the safety and expression of female, queer, non-binary and POC creatives, Wurwand, in collaboration with THNK1994, a pop-up pop culture museum based in New York City, has unveiled the MILF Museum. This must-see showcase presents an irreverent world of paintings, films and found artifacts that long-overdue celebrate MILFs while queering their meaning.

The artist’s first solo show immerses visitors in a world that is both nostalgic and unsettlingly contemporary. The exhibition offers a complete and cohesive mash-up of multimedia that satisfies all of our senses. Visitors are greeted by a real-life Milf sunbathing on an astroturf and performing a spoken-word rendition of “Stacy’s Mom.” The experience is further enhanced by scents from Basenote Bitch, which transport guests via an olfactory time machine.

milfs molly wurwand exhibition book thnk1994 museum los angeles details

Elizabeth Renstrom (Basenote Bitch)

Other highlights include an interactive vanity that allows visitors to see what they might look like as a Milf, along with the chance to eavesdrop on voicemails left for a mystery Milf, ranging from plastic surgery appointment confirmations to reports left by the jacuzzi repair team. However, the visual aspect of the exhibit takes center stage with “Deranged reverence.”

The installation features ten original paintings of Milfs from the artist’s mind, and an anthropological display of found relics from the late ’80s to the early aughts, such as an original Motorola Razr cell phone and a first edition pair of UGGs, as well as a screening of the short film M.I.L.F.S. (My Imaginary Life for Someone) written and directed by Molly Wurwand and Ryan McGladez.

“Growing up in L.A., I was surrounded by Milfs — all of my parents’ friends and all of my friends’ parents. Milfs are absolutely the patron saint of Los Angeles,” tells Wurwand Hypebae. “I feel like the Milf archetype is like L.A. personified: natural gorgeousness compounded with glam artifice and this slightly doomed feeling in the air. There’s something so compelling about their exuberance and joy for life contrasted with this sense of fragility and yearning, even wistfulness.”

milfs molly wurwand exhibition book thnk1994 museum los angeles details

Molly Wurwand

Wurwand’s admiration for Milfs goes beyond their physical appearance. They believe they possess an almost delusional optimism in the face of tragic circumstances, always finding the bright side and bravely making the best of any situation. And although Milfs have traditionally been coded as exclusively female, Wurwand believes that Milfdom is not limited to one gender. They state, “It’s for all genders: if you have a hopeful optimism and a dark sense of humor with a penchant for poignant glamour and relying on your daily horoscope, you’re a Milf.”

The MILF Museum, a celebration of the iconic and beloved archetype of the Milf, will be open on weekends throughout May and until June 11 at Junior High Los Angeles. If you can’t make it, you can still own a piece of the experience by purchasing limited-edition prints and the book MILFS: The Book from THNK 1994’s website.

In case you missed it, Martine Gutierrez explores gender, race and cult symbols in “ANTI-ICON: APOKALYPSIS.”

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