Enter the matrix

By GREG COOK  |  January 13, 2009

At AS220 (115 Empire Street, Providence, through January 24), Paul Roustan of East Providence presents photos of naked models (almost all women) that he's painted with stripes and patterns and various virtuoso effects. A woman's pregnant belly is painted to resemble the earth, eclipsing a spotlight in the background that doubles as the sun. A real tarantula crawls up the breast of a woman painted with a white spider web that glows against her black-painted skin. Roustan's body paintings have flashy airbrush or spray-can style and exude a sexy fetishistic vibe.

I'm fascinated by the shot of a model painted with blue-on-blue floral pattern that matches the wallpaper behind her, and shots of models posed in crumbling buildings (or sets) and painted to resemble cracked walls or shattered glass. One of these women appears to have a gaping hole right between her breasts. I'm by turns attracted and repulsed by the trompe l'oeil illusions, the undercurrent of violence percolating through the images, and the way the naked ladies become mysteriously one with their surroundings, like chameleons or liquid mercury Terminators.

Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: Two sides of life, Review: Dan Wood and Pippi Zornoza at AS220, Zacchilli + Kent's 'Night For Day,' Test, and Planka at AS220, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , California, Mammals, Nature and the Environment,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GREG COOK
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   LIFE IS A CARNIVAL  |  August 27, 2014
    To run away with the circus — it’s a glamorous metaphor for “leaving a dull life for a colorful one.”
  •   A WORLD GONE WRONG  |  August 20, 2014
    The skies always seem threatening in Jennifer Hrabota Lesser’s paintings.
  •   OUTWARD AND INWARD  |  August 06, 2014
    A couple years or so back, Samuel Denoncour spent a year traveling alone across these United States.
  •   BEAUTY AND RUIN  |  July 30, 2014
    You’ve surely seen Providence painter Agustín Patiño’s work.
  •   EVOLVING PERSPECTIVES  |  July 23, 2014
    Somewhere around the 1950s, Florence Leif drastically changed her style.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK