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  | 
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , California, Mammals, Nature and the Environment,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   OUTSIDE THE LINES  |  September 17, 2014
    It’s hot, sweaty, satirical, messy, manic, Technicolor, cartoony, psychedelic stuff.
  •   FALL ARTS PREVIEW | ART: BODIES OF WORK  |  September 10, 2014
    Plus candy that you can actually eat!
  •   DIGGING IN THE DUST  |  September 03, 2014
    What do we preserve? And why?
  •   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.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK