Chores prompt chuckles in funny photos of 'disrupted domestic acts'

Image: PB&J in the face Lee Materazzi
PB and SPLAT! Artist Lee Materazzi and her mother, Alice Kellogg, tackled a photography project together in which ordinary household tasks go awry.

If you thought the household chores your mother assigned you were taxing, Lee Materazzi will put you to shame with her recent photography series on "disrupted domestic acts."

In it, the 31-year-old San Francisco artist teams up with her own mother to show a series of everyday abode-related activities — doing laundry, making breakfast, dusting windows — gone utterly and hilariously wrong.

In one photo, for instance, Materazzi's mother Alice Kellogg slaps two pieces of peanut-butter-and-jelly-covered bread onto her cheeks. In another, Materazzi sticks her head inside a plastic-wrapped plate of leftovers.

"The disrupted domestic acts are ... a form of rebellion against conformity," Materazzi told TODAY.com, noting that she and her mom turned everyday chores "upside down and into anything other than what they are supposed to be."

Image: Attack of the horizontal blinds Lee Materazzi
Look out! Those horizontal blinds are in attack mode!

Materazzi said she frequently features her mother, a former commercial photographer, in her work; in fact, some of Materazzi's inspiration for this series came from criticism that she featured her mother too often.

"I suppose it made me think about our relationship more and why it is so significant to have her involved in what I do,” Materazzi said. “So instead of refraining from having her be the subject, I decided to embrace her willingness and have the focus be about her."

In the "disrupted domestic acts" series, Materazzi herself is the subject of half the photographs, with her mother as the photographer.

"She has always been productively critical of my photography, as I have never had any formal training in this department," Materazzi said. "It became a bit of a playful battle of the egos as to who could be the better subject and/or photographer. There was a lot of pride in both of those roles for my mother."

Image: Cake face Lee Materazzi
Lee Materazzi's mother Alice Kellogg, pictured here, said her favorite photos in the series captured her making her face into a cake.

Not that there's any surprise that the two make such an adept creative team. "I have a very close relationship with my mother and always have," Materazzi said. She now has a 1-year-old daughter — the focus of her next photo series — and she said becoming a parent has shown her the ways in which she and her mother are similar and dissimilar.

"I hope that I am able to be as supportive as my mother was with me, with whatever it is that drives and interests my daughter," she said. "Sometimes I catch myself not wanting to do what she wants to do and I tell myself to be more patient. ... I don’t think that my mother really wanted to pour chicken noodle soup on her head." 

  • Slideshow Photos

    'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

    Erma Bombeck once said, “Housework, if you do it right, can kill you.” A photography series called "disrupted domestic acts" shows just how true that is.

  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    You got some on your face -

    Erma Bombeck once said, “Housework, if you do it right, can kill you.” A photography series called "disrupted domestic acts," masterminded by San Francisco artist Lee Materazzi and her mother Alice Kellogg, shows just how true that is.

    Making school lunches can be such a drag. Here, Materazzi and Kellogg decide to transform the task into something a wee bit more interesting.

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    Picking up dry cleaning is dangerous! -

    Well, it can be if you do it this way.

    "The disrupted domestic acts are … a form of rebellion against conformity," Materazzi told TODAY.com. She said she and her mom turned everyday chores "upside down and into anything other than what they are supposed to be."

    Lee Materazzi
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    A new use for Tupperware -

    After Alice Kellogg stuck her head inside this Tupperware of Cheerios, her nose stayed crooked for a few hours.

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    When horizontal blinds attack -

    Somebody, help! The house is fighting back!

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    All hung up -

    Wait. What did you want me to put away in the closet again?

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    Ready to travel -

    This is a safe form of transportation, right?

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    Sick of leftovers? -

    So is artist Lee Materazzi, apparently.

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    Bottoms up! -

    Materazzi said her mother, a former commercial photographer, has “always been productively critical” of her work. “I have never had any formal training in this department," Materazzi said.

    Lee Materazzi
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    A powerful force -

    For this series, Materazzi and Kellogg took turns photographing each other. "It became a bit of a playful battle of the egos as to who could be the better subject and/or photographer,” Materazzi said. “There was a lot of pride in both of those roles for my mother."

    Lee Materazzi
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    Cake face! -

    Lee Materazzi's mother Alice Kellogg, pictured here, said her favorite photos in the series captured her transforming her face into a cake.

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    Nature abhors a vacuum -

    Isn’t it obvious why?

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    An orange hue -

    After spraying orange soda into her face, Materazzi said her face stayed orange for a few days.

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    A mummifying look -

    This paper-towel ensemble was done for art, not for a Halloween costume.

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    Laundry day -

    Don’t try this one at home, folks!

    Lee Materazzi
  • 'Disrupted domestic acts': Subversively fun photos of household chores

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    The bitter end -

    This photo captures the way many feel about the endless cycle of housework in their lives.

    Lee Materazzi
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