E-Mail: CoproNason@msn.com OR www.CoproNason.com
What: "Monster Ballads " - Isabel Samaras
Date: October 6 through October 31, 2007
Isabel Samaras’ work is a form of visual story telling – witty,
mysterious, and tender. Best known for lush and meticulously painted
riffs on Old Masters that send up pop culture icons of the '70s,
Samaras’ paintings are played out in layers woven with references to
classic horror movies, ancient mythology, cheesy television, and childhood fables. Her work is familiar to a broad audience through publications like Juxtapoz magazine, as well as her own book “Devil Babe’s Big Book of Fun” (winner of the Firecracker Book Award for
Best Art Book) and posters for Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, the Cramps, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Comparing her internationally exhibited work to much postmodern painting, one critic writes, “Samaras has created a truly populist art.” Her painted narratives
are classical in technique and pop in content.
With "Monster Ballads", Samaras continues to explore the human,
tender side of monsters -- both as martyrs who didn't choose their
own fates, and as "regular folks" who enjoy their hobbies as much as
the next guy. Messenger birds appear in each of the "Songs of the
Monster Martyrs" paintings (inspired by the cacophony of birdsong outside the studio) -- the owl, often used to symbolize mourning; the crow, a classic symbol of death; the goldfinch, a reference to the soul flying away; and the sacred ibis, said to have secret knowledge
of the dead. In the "Songs of Leisure", companion animals are witness to monsters enjoying down time, relaxing and playing games. Tinged with mischief and a sympathetic gentle mercy towards monsters of all kinds, she invites the viewer to be part of her humorous and
heartfelt storytelling process.
For her show at Copro Nason, Samaras has created a very limited edition multiple -- a special hand-cut wooden "Monster Martyyr" jigsaw puzzle, cut by master puzzle maker Myron, totally assembled lovingly by hand and boxed in editions of ten. Because they are each hand cut, no two are alike, each contains a "secret bird" custom piece, and are all signed and number by both Samaras and Myron.
Her work has been featured in the books “Vicious, Delicious &
Ambitious: 20th Century Women Artists,” “Pop Surrealism: The Rise of
Underground Art,” “Weirdo Deluxe: The Wild World of Pop Surrealism
and Lowbrow Art,” “Copro Nason: A Catalogue Raisonne,” “Sci-Fi
Wester,” “Tiki Art Now” and “Recipes for Disaster,” and her own book “Devil Babe’s Big Book of Fun”, currently in it’s fourth print run.
She has opened her studio to the television shows “Internet Tonight,”
“SexTV,” and “Ooh La La,” and been featured in articles in CMYK,
International Tattoo Art, Juxtapoz, the San Francisco Examiner,
Playboy, Metropolis, New York Press, USA Today, and more.