Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How it all began and where it went, "Under the Rainbow"

For the past several years I've been making psychological narrative paintings - fantasy worlds with young girls carrying out their various acts. The last body of work (2010) Softcore War, dealt with the fantasies of would be suicide bombers based on a series of articles that I read. The current work, (2013) Under the Rainbow is different. Under the Rainbow is akin to being under the influence of something, in this case the rainbow, which is a product of light that feeds darkness. The rainbow is a symbol of power that is the antagonist. It is the other partner that the femme fatale figure has a relationship with. When I first started creating these paintings Summer of 2012, the Pussy Riot incident was loud and clear in the news. I watched a video of protestors chanting behind a chain link fence in defense of the Pussy Riot members. The protest was peaceful. When a young woman dawned a pink mask and continued her chant, the police immediately went after her. I was amazed that a simple colorful mask that she was under became a symbol of aggression so quickly. The term "Under the Rainbow" had been mulling in my head for some time, and this moment, further solidified my desire to use this term for the title of my new work. When I think of the femme fatale in this series, I've been inspired by both the characters "Black Widow" in the Avengers and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. They both cross the line to get information that they need. The play both the victim and the protagonist. As the work developed the female began to interact with the amorphous rainbow cloud monster, sometimes suggesting that a line had been crossed, perhaps sexually, to get what they needed, as seen in Trophy 1 & 2. Teeth were extracted and hair, either pubic or beard, was removed. As for the abundance of hair and hidden faces, I've been searching for new ways to obscure identity, that isn't always construed as a religious veil. The work is not religious at all. Veils are traditionally a symbol of faith and devotion, but they can also be used as a bandit or mask to conceal identity when committing a crime. The fabric pieces are anthropomorphized veils that embody the power of the rainbow. It would be dangerous to put one on. It makes me think of mad scientists who drink their potions to become Jekyll and Hyde types of characters. Throughout the body, there are still some spill overs from the last series of work, namely from the small group of drawings that I created Summer of 2011 called "Lashes for Ankles". The girls are still flaunting gold teeth and exposing themselves in ways that break the law, or push boundaries, depending where you live. This information might shed some light on the current work, however the driving force will always be deeply personal and psychological. I recently saw a show about Ian Flemming, the author of all of the James Bond books. James Bond was his alter ego and perhaps the girls are mine.

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