Maybe it's a sign that spring has sprung, or should spring soon, but I am totally inspired by rabid technicolor bunnies right now.
(Above: Unnatural Urges #1-6, 2008, oil on panels, 8x8" each.)
After joining the staff at Bitch as art director just about a month ago, I feel a bit like I'm waking up from hibernation (in a good way). And the weather around Portland is a little sporadic...not matching my expectations or my mood just yet. So I have been going back to some of my favorite art crushes, design heroes, and past collaborators lately for a little pick-up.
Laurie Hogin explores human impulses, desires, and needs, including pleasure, intoxication, addiction, the erotic, totem, violence, greed, grief, and love. What could get better than that? She does it in a way that refers to the lavishness and opulent detail of the 17th-19th century European traditions, but with technicolor and ferocity that is completely modern and in her words "belie(s) subversive cultural critique." Monkeys, rabbit hybrids, technicolor mushrooms, and hybrid animals of her own creation are the subject matter, and titles like "Twelve Moments of Saturday Morning TV" and "Xanax" add a little humor. I have a love/hate relationship with conceptual art titles, but Hogin's strike me just right. All this might seem heavy-handed if attempted with less skill and detail. What do you think?
(Above left: Diorama with Meds for Sleep and Anxiety, 2008, oil on canvas, 30" x 36". Above right: Night Terrors #5, 2008, oil on panel, 8 x 8".)
Check out more of her work at Littlejohn Contemporary (in New York), Peter Miller Gallery (in Chicago), and at her own site, where she also has posted some thoughtful commentary on her work in general and specific pieces (and monkeys!).