Rebekah Bogard‘s cute, pink and white, rabbit-like ceramic sculpture creatures, arranged in installations, explore themes of gender, femininity, and sexuality. As Rebekah says in her artist statement on her Website, “I enjoy utilizing animals because they are beautiful and mysterious creatures, vulnerable to relations with humans. This susceptibility gives them a sense of benevolence that is often lacking in human associations….Some pieces look cute, sweet and innocent, but upon closer inspection, one realizes that the piece is conceptually more complicated. They may be read simultaneously as happy-go-lucky as well as melancholic and out of place. I blend the beautiful with the sad, fantasy with reality, idealism with truth as well as the sexual with the innocent.”
Tags: animals, ceramic, ceramics, creature, cute, cute n creepy little creatures, fauna, femininity, fleshy, flora, flowers, innocence/menace, installation art, sculptures, sexuality, sweet/melancholy, weird sculptures, woodland creatures
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
Ghostly, sinuous, beautifully illustrated apparitions with elongated, eerie, torturously expressive wraith-like hands figure prominently in Mia Calderone‘s exquisite and highly personal ink drawings. Her influences and inspirations include Catholicism, medieval illuminated Bibles, Art Nouveau (particularly Alphonse Mucha and Aubrey Beardsley), and contemporary artists Takato Yamamoto and Laura Laine.
Tags: articulate hands, black and white, dark fairy tales, emotive, exposed anatomy, expressive, femininity, flowers in hair, ghostly, hair, inky, intricate line drawings, neo-victorian, sexuality, twins/doppelgangers/doubles, victorian
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
I saw this a few weeks ago, so this is kind of late, but here goes anyway. There’s “spoilers,” just FYI.
Sleeping Beauty (2011) is an Australian movie directed by Julia Leigh, starring Emily Browning and Rachael Blake. It’s about a young college student named Lucy who joins a high-end erotic waitressing service that caters to the wealthy, in order to make ends meet, and further agrees to be one of the “sleeping beauties,” so to speak, who form a more specialized subset of the girls. For each engagement she is driven to the madam/Clara’s house, where she takes a powerful sedative in a cup of tea that induces a very heavy, undisturbable, deathlike sleep for a short period, and while she’s out like the eponymous Sleeping Beauty, some client who has paid for the privilege, usually an older man, gets into bed with her and can do whatever they like with her unconscious body, short of actual penetration, for the duration of an hour. She is promised that when she wakes up, she will not remember a single thing, and for her it will be as if it never happened.
Nataly Abramovitch AKA KuKula‘s new show, Lonely Opulent Things, opens today at the Corey Helford Gallery, with guest artist Natalie Shau. This Rococo-inspired new collection is bright with delicate, playful pastels redolent of Marie Antoinette’s exuberant era and features KuKula’s signature sweetness of style combined with melancholy and decadence, and themes of corrupted innocence. It is just so colorful!
Taking cues from classical art (she is a self-confessed devotee of the Dutch master Vermeer), Korin Faught paints beautiful, realistic, and surreal portraits of women, in white dresses and Dutch caps, often in groups or interactions of enigmatic/symbolic meaning; a striking blend of the modern and the traditional, a balance between a crisp and precise style, and an expressive and sharply imaginative quality. I love the whiteness contrasted with the touch of melancholy to the atmosphere and the vague sense of twisted foreboding.
Tags: (twists on) traditional art, classicism, femininity, korin faught, mystical, photorealism, puritanical, realism, religious imagery, religious symbolism, sexuality, symbolism, twins/doppelgangers/doubles, virtuoso, white
Jana Brike currently has a solo exhibit at ArtHatch in Escondido, California. Titled The Book of Taboo, this lush white-dominated, pink-tinged series focuses on prepubescent, androgynous girls and boys with milk-white skin and cherubic features, and portrays the theme of (yep, you guessed it) corrupted innocence. Lurid and twisted sexuality, eerie and sinister surreal imagery combined with the sweetness and purity of the diminutive figures, gambol and play in these portraits of children suspended somewhere between childhood and adolescence, between innocence and depraved malice. Jana Brike explains the influences behind these paintings here.
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
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