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This piece Petroleum Paradox: At What Cost Beauty came up randomly on the site today, and I can’t look away! I remember commenting on your intelligent and provocative installations of diet books and portraiture. They held what I believed to be a visceral beauty and philosophic challenge to the viewer. This series of Petroleum pieces seem to take that idea of excess and beauty even further. The stark visual contrast between the black tar (or oil) covered model is striking. The slickness of her skin’s surface creates lush highlight and fully textured black shadow- almost as though she is wholly transformed into another type of being. This particular image nicely plays with the duality created in the humorously exaggerated gesticulations versus the expression of disgust. I appreciate the pose on the left appearing less self-aware and outward looking than the figure we read, or move to on the right. In the second pose she is cognizant of the outlandish and unnatural cosmetic, and judges our passive viewing. But the paradox is not only our pleasure in the grotesque, but the willful participation in this encumbering condition.
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Ms Kristen T. Woodward critiques of members art.
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