Handiedan‘s artistic universe revolves around some leading visual motifs and yet it amazes thanks to its complexity, both in terms of formal composition and in terms of the technique she uses for making them. These two aspects together determine the irresistible charm of her art.
Undisputed protagonists of Handiedan‘s sculptural hand-cut collages, her vintage pin-ups immediately recall the burlesque genre. However if we look into them further many sources of inspiration are revealed: the Neo-Classical and Victorian ages, the Parisian Belle Époque, up to the 1940’s and Post-War sexy imagery. But none of Handiedan‘s ‘models’ really existed. In fact each of them is composed through by assembling anatomical parts of different pre-existing images. The newly formed woman is the result of a complex layering process that gives to Handiedan‘s art a three-dimensional quality and makes a collaged bas-relief out of every work. Her cheerfully sexy creatures seem to lively bend in and out of their background.
Notwithstanding the ‘less is more’ design theory so prevalent in Dutch culture, Handiedan‘s art responds more to a fascination with minute ornamental details. In each work the background is as much intriguing as the feminine creatures emerging from it. Filled with tiny exquisite details, the backgrounds incorporates old postage stamps, antique currencies, playing cards, music sheets and all sorts of odd antiques, even cigar bands. They are composed as to create elegantly decorative motifs and patterns.
Once Handiedan has gathered all the visual fragments and having in mind an atmosphere rather than a specific subject, she ‘plays’ with them on the computer. When the digital design satisfies her, she prints the elements that will form the layered collage on paper. She also uses old wood and even zinc as a canvas of the final image. Her beautifully complex work is completed by her own drawings and pen doodles marking both the background and the body parts of the pin-ups. Mounted into antique ornamented frames, the works are finally ready in all their exuberant liveliness.
If Handiedan‘s pin-ups look like something in between an orientally adorned femme fatale from a noir film, a sexually joyful pin-up from a 1950’s calendar and a tattooed rockabilly gal, each work also works as a treasure trove of symbols scattered on the background in form of decorative detail. For instance, her most recent work focuses on Quantum Physics, Cosmology, Easter Philosophy and Sacred Geometries. Different ways of observing the continues motion of Energy/Life.
Though she has opted for a monochrome treatment, her new series confirms the complexity and depth coming from this form of layered collage, where everything is hand-cut and assembled with great care. The new pieces are as much proof of Handiedan’s accomplished technique as the previous ones (if not more).
This painting depicts the limitations society places on women, corrupting what truly is beautiful by placing them in these prisons of identity. By doing so, society is asking them to become superheroes. The work is an offset of American comics, synonymous to entertainment and fun. This is exactly the goal of the series - a daily struggle against that which is imposed by society and the very expectations we impose on ourselves I keep myself busy in many ways; single mom, business woman, artist, the household, romance, errands. It puts a lot on one’s shoulders. We overwork ourselves. We are all slaves to something or of something. And in comic books, despite all the playfulness of the thing itself and all the “POW BING BAM,” superheroes are also fragile. We are merely human men and women and we are entitled to the flaws and errors. Lets be proud of who we are, be fierce and strong.
Sandra Chevrier, who calls herself a “gaze collector,” creates hyperrealistic paintings of women that stare out towards the viewer. Reinterpreting the superhero mask, Chevrier covers these images with a collage of comic book prints, using scenes from Superman and Batman to conceal the faces of these idealized women. Chevrier selects sections of comic books that portray “fragile heroes,” promoting the idea that vulnerability often underlies heroism. Titled “Cages,” these mixed-media works encourage viewers to consider how the modern woman—like these superheroes—might also be surrounded by expectations of effortless perfection.
Jennybird Alcantara's minutely detailed oil paintings possess un-borrowed symbolism, drawing the viewer deeply into a world both strange and beautiful. Dreamlike narratives form the core her paintings where the complex interconnectedness of opposites appear through the prism of myth, fable and fantasy. Jennybird uses the symbolism of duality to explore the connection of life and death and the veil in between.
Born a minister's son in 1977 in Seoul Korea, Young Chun remembers as a child, living in a small attachment to a hillside church for a brief time. The weekdays spent running around with imaginary friends in the dim empty chapel has fueled his imagination, contributing to his artistic growth. The "chapel" has become a permanent fixture in his creative mind - where he constructs, develops, and stores works in progress, before they ever meet a sketchpad. In 2000, Young received his B.F.A, from the Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena California. After several years of painting without clear direction, he stumbled into the opposite end of the spectrum - into the healthcare field - to search for "substance" and "something deeper in life". The years spent working as a respiratory therapist, helping people who were faced with life and death situations, has expanded his outlook in life; adding to his artistic vision. In February of 2011, Young resumed working as a full time artist. He currently lives and works in Orange County, California.