artist / participant
Kirsten Glass's dramatic, large-scale paintings fuse elements of film noir, fairy tale and gothic hauteur into a carefully orchestrated chaos. Her femmes fatales - glitter-haired, wearing their livid makeup like a mask - resist interpretation, presenting an impenetrable façade: a montage of disembodied figures, their relations governed only by dream logic and formal geometry. Bats, wolves and other talismanic creatures lurk in their midst like secret thoughts.
Narrowly outlined in fluorescent pink and yellow, each component (cropped-off arm, upside-down head) is discrete yet interconnected - jigsaw-puzzle pieces rearranging themselves into new and startling configurations. Their uncanny atmosphere finds an echo in the brief, gnomic phrases which caption the paintings, bits of pop lyrics or everyday speech given altered significance by their juxtaposition. Sometimes almost invisible, these spectral texts add an additional veil of pictorial mystery, like answers to an unspoken riddle.
Glass references artists from Bosch to Buñuel, Philip Pullman to Siouxsie Sioux, but her elaborately composed collages are more than the sum of such parts. Instead, she culls fragments from a variety of sources and transforms them, creating images of haunting originality and strangeness. This striking, densely layered work gives us a glimpse into an interior world much weirder - and much more interesting - than its pop-culture origins.
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