Ohio based artist Alfred Steiner has an admittedly bizarre predilection for anatomical and fragmented parts since his childhood. His watercolor paintings of pop culture icons, logos, and cartoon characters use unseemly pieces to build an image. His work could be described as modern day Pop-Mannerism, a combination of Pop Art and Mannerist art, and brings to mind that of Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who painted imaginative faces made of fruits and other objects. However, Steiner credits more surprising and eclectic inspirations, such as the fantastic imagery of Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch and fictional characters like Homer Simpson.
During the late Italian Renaissance, ‘Mannerist’ artists had technically mastered the nude and began playing with her proportions. Toronto based artist Troy Brooks uses the same visual language in his figurative paintings of elongated women. The ‘women of Troy’ are characteristically fashion forward and emotionally indifferent; caught between moments of boredom, rebellion, and transformation. Often, his blonde ‘heroine’ is compared to Psycho’s Norma Bates, which might cast her as a manipulative she-devil. She is posed in weird environments of soft colors that match her pale white skin. Her abnormally stretched limbs are almost torturous-looking and unsettling, complimenting Brook’s bizarre themes.