L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Final preview of May - and, yes, I know it's already May - plus Hollywood and Argentina

Venus Cosmeticus - acrylic on panel - 24x24 - 2015. From my show - "95 / 15" - that opens May 5th at Froelick Gallery in Portland.

Today's post is really just to show off and to give context to a new painting, Venus Cosmeticus, one of the more flashy items in my soon-to-open show at Froelick Gallery. With my well-documented love of "big hair", maybe it will come as no surprise that I've been a little bit obsessed lately - artistically, anyway - with the elaborate, often lavishly accessorized, often steeply ascending coiffures of the mid-1940s. Modeled by many of the world's great glamour queens of the period, from peak-of-her-career Betty Grable to early Eva Perón, they're often as ridiculous as that infamous pouf of the 1770s - so frequently seen in my work - and, to my perverse way of thinking, just as charming.

Detail of above.

It was little more than "40s hair" that inspired the three paintings which comprised "The Judgement of Paris", from last year's show at Winston Wächter in Seattle:

Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena - each acrylic on panel - 24x24 - 2014.

Strange that I'd be able to pinpoint the spark of this recent mania, but I feel pretty certain it was set in motion by repeated exposure to this wonderfully metallic construction, worn by Claire Trevor in "Murder My Sweet":


Speaking of the aforementioned mesdames Grable and Perón, here are some examples of their lovely "hair art":

Betty Grable.

In this follicular contest, I'd say Miss Grable wins points for variety and novelty, while Evita earns hers for volume, consistency, and overall drama:

Eva Perón.


During the same brief period there was also a major vogue for wearing flowers - sometimes oversized, themselves - in the midst of all that hair.

Ann Miller.
Singer and actress Ruby Hill.
Dorothy Lamour.
Esther Williams.
Hedy Lamarr.
Newlyweds Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Ida Lupino.
Lana Turner.
Veronica Lake.
Betty Hutton. (Just like it says.)
Francine Everett.
And again, from another scene in "Murder My Sweet", Claire Trevor.


And, finally, from the same period, though decidedly less glamorous:

Leda and the Swan - acrylic on panel - 12x12 - 2015. The hair in a variable style known as "victory curls". Also part of the Froelick show.

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