No more than a few inches high, these tiny paintings by Indiana-based artist Mab Graves are very much in the spirit of the winter season. In the slightly off-putting style of Big Eyes’ Margaret Keane (Vol 34), her dolly-eyed misfits adventure through haunting wintery landscapes and county fairs. Inspired by fairytales and classic literature, along the way they make friends with characters like dachshunds and the Dish who ran away with the Spoon. They always seem to be fleeing- emancipated from the bleakness of reality into Graves’ dream world.
On Saturday night, Los Angeles pop-up space 80Forty transformed into Lola’s “The Younger”. Her exhibition, 2-years in the making, tells the personal story of Lola’s creative upbringing in an environment full of personal touches. The space included her own fireplace mantel, as seen in our studio visit, with decorative furniture and 3d pieces on display. As the title suggests, we follow the ‘younger’ Lola into adulthood through a series of playful symbolism. In her youth, Lola spent time drawing with her father, also an artist, and playing with the toys inherited from her grandparents. These experiences find their way into her paintings, featuring Alice in Wonderland-like little girls in whimsical situations.
Underwater photographer Elena Kalis makes fairytales a reality and turns the ordinary into dreams. Looking through her lens is like being transported into an imaginary land. Based in the Bahamas, Kalis makes use of the nearby ocean as her studio. Her models may be holding their breath but they express deep, whimsical emotions in complex poses that can only be achieved in water. In some portraits, they are literally walking through a magic portal that is the surface. For her Alice in Waterland series, we follow Alice as she steps into a crystal blue looking glass and floats down an invisible tunnel to have tea with the Mad Hatter. It is a story told a thousand times over, but Kalis manages to bring a fresh perspective with just the natural beauty of nature. Read more after the jump.
Self-taught French artist Lostfish has a sweet, yet haunting style that captures classical essence through doll-like figures. Her surreal paintings are an intentional mix of youth and adult sophistication, borrowing methods from Flemish painting and 19th century art. Her half-child, half-adult porcelain subjects have been described as disturbing, cute, and melancholy at the same time.