There will always be something to ruin our lives, it all depends on what or which finds us first. We are always ripe and ready to be taken.—Charles Bukowski
In her new series of paintings currently on view at Pavel Zoubok Gallery, Raven Schlossberg turns the gender tables in a dystopian world fabricated from, and filtered through, her childhood memories.
In psychedelic tableaux, seemingly sourced from pulp fiction and soft-porn comics, a sexual wilderness ruled by zaftig girl gangs is inhabited by hustlers, grifters, prize fighters and gamblers who rove through a neon world of night.
But in a recent interview, the artist, who grew up in southern California said, “After my parents split, my father would pick me up for visitation and take me to a motley variety of locales that I only later realized were locations for buying marijuana.
“One place was a mysterious world that had walls made out of brilliantly colored broken glass beer bottles forming a gridded mosaic back lit by the sun. A visionary string artist who nailed millions of tiny nails to wooden boards, wrapping vibrantly colored threads around them, spinning abstract geometric patterns that would become sailboats lost at sea or amorphous constellations, occupied another place.
"My father would often frequent a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome whose otherworldly skeleton first introduced me to the idea of fragmentation and transparency that I still use in my work today.” [more]
In the collaged works that comprise Daytrippin’ Nightskippin’, Schlossberg invented a process that springs from the Pattern & Decoration movement, which emerged in the 1970s, and has imbued it with trashy elements that combine in magical ways with the figuration of the panels and the times in which her memories were shaped.
Gaudily printed spandex fabric mounted onto birch panels is the support, its porous knit filled with a transparent binder. The larger portraits, drawn in black ink, reiterate pulp fiction anti-heroes; the supporting cast of bimbos and freaks from her comics collection are precisely cut out and collaged onto the surface. Fragments of the printed fabric designs show through, appearing as if selectively imprinted from above. Bits of holographic foil further enliven the surface.
Raven Schlossberg, Daytrippin’ Nightskippin’, continues at Pavel Zoubok Gallery through March 14. 531 West 26th Street, NY, NY. [more] Top:Pretty Killer(2014). Left: Detail fromThe Dream Bar(2013). © Copyright and courtesy Raven Schlossberg.