Femme Fatale, a show exhibiting the work of over 35 contemporary artists, curated by Nicole Bruckman and Stephanie Chefas, is open at Cella Gallery in Los Angeles from February 25th to March 17th. A sample of the works featured is below.
L’ingenue by Stella Im Hultberg
A Letter to Three Wives by David Bray
Tags: 1950s, alien beauty, art shows, enlarged eyes, femininity, hauntingly beautiful, innocence/menace, lolita-esque, lolitaism, otherworldly, pop surrealism, queens, realism, religious imagery, retro, sexuality, stella im hultberg, sweet/melancholy
1990′s The Reflecting Skin, directed by Philip Ridley, is a weird movie and rather obscure. It’s very interesting, and quiet, bizarre, grotesque, over-the-top, and terribly beautiful, all at once. Visually, it’s amazing. The cinematography is gorgeous, very unforgettable. It has such atmosphere… Eerie, chilling, ominous, cryptic, ascetic yet lush. Admittedly some of the acting is just god-awful (especially the child actors!), but the movie overall is kind of brilliant. Destined to be thought terrible and intolerable by many, I loved it. It is quite possibly the movie that most embodies an “American Gothic” quality/aesthetic, a haunting sense of desolation and hopelessness, mirrored by the land, and a hypocritical, unforgiving puritanism.
Taking place in rural America in the 1950s (whose landscape of yellow wheat fields and desolate, isolated, gray wood frame houses standing in the midst of them is shot very impressively and gorgeously), The Reflecting Skin is, sort of, about child abuse, innocence, imagination, death, mortality, and love. The main character is a young boy named Seth Dove who creates an elaborate fantasy around a mysterious, otherworldly-seeming English widow who lives nearby, believing her to be a vampire who is preying on his loved ones. I suppose it’s partly about the unimaginable innocence of youth… Instead of registering and owning a sense of evil in the world, Seth displaces it onto this mysterious figure, a source of external, supernatural evil, thus allowing him not to understand these strange, horrific, traumatic events around him.
The “vampire,” pale, regal, and obsessive, is such a strange, lovely, macabre, spectral, enigmatic character, with the most absolutely haunting speeches, remote yet intense, vehement, and unnerving meditations on aging and love. Icily menacing yet alluring, preternaturally quiet with sudden outbursts of piercing, violent, grotesque, deeply primal, forlorn emotion, mercurial as a madwoman, she was played pretty much to perfection by Lindsay Duncan. She should be an iconic figure, in my opinion.
This movie is fascinating, and even if you end up not liking it, you should definitely see it. The cinematography alone is worth it.
The entirety of the film (from the Japanese DVD) is up on YouTube.
Tags: 1950s, abuse, bizarre, children, cryptic, dark, film reviews, fragility, hauntingly beautiful, innocence, innocence/menace, macabre, metaphors, puritanical, religion, sexuality, strange beauty, surreal, surreal horror, trailers, vampires, visceral, witchy
The Victorian era, traditional Japanese art and contemporary Japanese pop culture, super-consumer culture, mid-century America, classic Christian iconography, poster art, ironic/mystical symbolism, and ice cream cones all mix together in Alex Gross’ bright, colorful brand of Pop Surrealism.
Tags: (twists on) traditional art, 1950s, animals, classic hollywood, colorful, consumerism, edo-period japan, geisha-inspired, neo-victorian, nurse, pop surrealism, religious imagery, retro, symbolism, victorian
Images from the show below via Blood Milk, Hi-Fructose, and Arrested Motion. I love the beautiful detail shots taken by JL Schnabel of Blood Milk, which show the true marvelousness and beauty of Caesar’s work as it would appear close-up in person.
Tags: 1940s, 1950s, art shows, colorful, cute/creepy little girls, doll-like, dollflesh, femininity, hauntingly beautiful, historically inspired, innocence/menace, interiors, lolita-esque, monsteresque, neo-victorian, pop surrealism, ray caesar, retro, sexuality, victorian
I’m excited to play BioShock 2.
Here’s a trailer, which is really awesome:
I guess they’re kind of a holy trinity for me.
What I admire about them is their ability to create an image for themselves, to forge and strike a visual identity from the inert mass that flares for a pretty near eternal instant.
Descriptor: Vintage Vixen
Mmm, Dita. What I love about the burlesque queen is that she’s always impeccably dressed, and preserves the glamor of the Golden Age of Hollywood while putting her own twist on it. She has a very distinctive, consistent style, which is complete and cohesive. She goes for the elegant and glamorous side of retro rather than the kitschy. And she does it through and through. She doesn’t dress casually even to go to the supermarket. With her signature black curls, vividly red lips, and lily-white face, she can be dark, bold, vampish, yet she’s feminine, delicate, and always elegant. She infuses the more mundane, casual present with some of the fascinating and voluptuous glamor and the tightly-controlled, put-together beauty of the ’40s and ’50s. I think Dita is a perfect example of self-transformation and creating beauty through styling. Her retro look of wickedly defined, bright red lips, jet-black sculpted hair, and clear white skin, is an immortal classic. Dita’s book, Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese, is gorgeous and a lovely read.
Descriptor: Experimental Epidemic
The multitalented Destroyx AKA Amelia Arsenic, vocalist for industrial/alternative band Angelspit, is another one of my style heroines. Her blog, www.destroyx.com, is all kinds of goodness. Her ability to style and adorn herself absolutely blows my mind. She combines cyber, fetish, gothic, and retro looks with daring, elegance, and innovation, to create an edgy, sophisticated, and utterly unforgettable image. Even though she takes elements from so many different styles, I think that above all, her style is really only her own and one of a kind. I love the complexity, eclecticism, elaborate accessorizing, and layering that go into her outfits. She is a makeup guru. Her looks are bold, gorgeous, and original. She represents the pinnacle of achieving interesting effects through makeup and styling – becoming something more than just yourself visually. Angelspit’s got amazing visual design and aesthetics with her influence, and Destroyx and ZooG (the other member of Angelspit) make a powerful creative duo.
Descriptor: Wayward Victorian Girl/Insane Asylum Inmate
Emilie Autumn is a quirky solo musician who makes self-styled “Victoriandustrial” music. She has a lovely style all her own, which is a kind of bastardized-period, feminine, torn, tattered, wispy, layered, ribbony, very pink-themed goth look. Her hair is divine, a very beautiful shade of pink and/or red. Aside from the Victorian influences, there are fey influences and influences from the Elizabethan period, which show in her music as well. Her style is light, ethereal, and fairy-like, as well as grungier girl-punk with the requisite studded cuffs and tattered fishnets. Bloodstains, hearts, and teatime are recurring elements. Emilie has an incredible ability to create an image, and this can be seen in all the artwork, design, extra features, and images on her Opheliac album – a testament to her creativity and styling genius. She is charming, alluring, and promises to take you beyond the mundane, into a secret world of melodramatic madnesses, anachronisms, oppression, and trauma. Her whole aesthetic concept revolves around the “Asylum.” Her style is very coherent, but has lots of variety and potential. Her very basic and most replicable look is something like a tattered white tank top with a heart patch, or a tea-stained corset, with bloomers, red-and-white stripey stockings/asymmetrical legwear, and of course, her heart makeup.
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