Maria Rubinke, Anish Kapoor, Lorenzo Oppgiano, and Seungyea Park: some well-known, others yet undiscovered by the art world – all are appropriately Halloween themed…
Whether they meant to be or not.
Danish-born Maria Rubinke’s (b. 1985) porcelain works blend the subtle and delicate art with nightmarish, but yet cartoon-y, subjects.
There is a decided delicacy of her objects that allow them to be beautiful while still disturbing the viewer’s sensibilities by questioning what is considered inappropriate and gruesome. Her pretty little girls project sado-masochistic tendencies, forcing the viewer to look closer, showing us what is underneath.
Anish Kapoor (b. 1954) is a well-known and well-established figure in the art world whose more recent large-scale installations strike a perfect balance between the sublime and the perverse. Unlike Rubinke’s pretty little girls doing nasty things, Kapoor goes straight for the gore. Using blood-red colored wax deposits, Kapoor fills entire rooms with what could be conceptually perceived of as blood and viscera.
Kapoor is one of the wealthiest living artists in the world. With more simple, and commercially viable objects such as this wall piece and more recently his estimated 22 million pound Orbit Tower for the 2012 London Olympics we have to ask ourselves, which is the real artist?
Italian Lorenzo Opggiano (b. 1964) works in new media, photography, and video. While his photograph assemblages entitled Quasi-Objects do not embrace the blood-spattered imagery of Rubinke’s porcelains and Kapoor’s wax works, they are reminiscent of organs; close-ups that reverently represent the beauty of biology. Opggiano describes the series as “natural forms of life as a result of techno-biological evolution.”
Korean-born Seungyea Park‘s detailed pen and acrylic drawings represent monsters – both those within us and those we see every day.
Park’s vision of mosters is one that is at the same time horrifying, yet inescapably, familiar. The portrayal of the self as other, or the self as more than one thing at the same time, is something the viewer can empathize with and understand – we have all felt that sometimes there is someone else living in our skin, making us act and react and in ways that are inexplicable.
And maybe that is what is at the crux of what is creepy, why we love to scare ourselves, whether it be through horror films, scary stories, art, or just that one night a year where our world and other worlds were assumed by our ancestors to be so closely entwined – because we intrinsically understand that beneath the surface there is a lot more going on than we are ever aware of…