Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Witty Painting Obsession

I like to think of myself as an artist, and as such, as a connoisseur of other forms of art, especially 2-D. I have my favorites, like Kehinde Wiley, he of the *brazilliant* images of young Black men done up in saintly poses and rendered in gessos and egg temperas still wearing their normal street clothes, or Enid Crow, the Brooklyn photographer whose "Disaster Series" portraits are finally gaining some well-deserved recognition. Lately I have been looking even closer to home, namely within my own artist's studio complex, and have happened upon the quiet little career of Miss Ella Kruglanskya. Ella specializes in painting ladies who are being somehow compromised by their clothing, often physically, as in this painting of a very Hitchcockian blonde threatened by the print of her dress: Ella's ladies are all very full-figured, fashion-obsessed, and seem to get themselves into the kind of ridiculous situations we always fear (but hopefully never experience): This lady seems to be suffering from "butt-hair" a la Dracula in the Winona Ryder movie, and also the little man printed on her dress is strangling her. I hate it when that happens. A graphic designer by trade (if you live in New York, she may have designed your wedding invitations), Ella takes inspiration from a ton of sources, especially foreign fashion magazines and frequent (daily) trips to Daffys. This fashionista sensibility comes across in the styles and poses depicted in her work.
I recently attended her show at Brooklyn Fireproof, "Something Swarming Something". When I open a store I am hoping that she will do all of my advertising and also that I'll be able to paper the walls of the dressing rooms with her sketches. Right now I'm content to share her with the rest of the world, but I'll definitely be saying I knew her when. :)