The Real Housewives of Sussex County by Ella Guru|
Ella Guru was one of the founding members of the 'Stuckist' art movement, brings to life her home in Hastings, UK. Perhaps the title is based on the TV show “The real housewives of Orange County, Chelsea, New Jersey" ? I notice the artist, Ella Guru, lives in Hastings which is a place with a secret underbelly of diversity. I love the ironic narrative in this painting: the sleepy, seaside town that points a CCTV camera straight at a character that half nonchalantly poses for it. The outrageous eccentricity of the “housewife” who looks to me like a transvestite, apparently a common phenomenon in the town, and the hyper real colours that defy all that is 'normal' and predictable.
Doll Asleep By Julie M Taylor|
I was startled by the ambiguity in this painting. It is of course called Doll Asleep but at first glance it could be a baby, fresh-faced and chubby-cheeked, except that there’s something about her eyes at odds with her face, some suggestion of an alternative creature behind the lids. Is it a mask or a face? Plastic or flesh? Is she dead or alive? Has she been abandoned by her owner/mother or is she abandoned in the old-fashioned sense of having abandoned the straight and narrow for a life of decadence? The searing blue of the frock is hardly the baby blue of an infant or a toy and although it appears to cover her, it falls off one shoulder - has she been attacked or is this a gesture of seduction? I was gripped by the way the artist seems to be toying with the viewer, requiring her to ask questions and find a story in the image - it is most certainly no sentimental Hallmark greeting card image of childhood innocence.