Simply put, Dark Art Emporium says its new show is about “the Fantastic.” With paintings from Iva Troj, Rachael Bridge, and Meagan “Magpie” Rodgers, “Angel Dust” takes a diverse approach to this concept—though all carry the dark surrealist undertones the Long Beach venue is known for offering. The show kicks off on Sept. 14 at the gallery.
Though Iva Troj’s paintings share the sensibility and feminine grace present in Renaissance era art, her work is informed by her modern point of view. Growing up in the outskirts of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the now UK-based artist was faced early on with male dominance in a communist country. She often expresses admiration for women artists like Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, whose mere existence was seen as problematic, while men at the time were painting women to look like dolls. “I so wanted to just go in there and change them all,” she says.