Reprinted from KCET Artbound, March 13, 2017
"Three women — a wizened witch, a sleek, pipe-smoking femme fatale and a bare-chested school girl sporting a mini-skirt and a sword — shimmy up the hairy shank of a monstrous wolf. It’s not just the beast that’s foreboding; part of his massive torso has been replaced by a melty mountain range with a gaping chasm at its center.
"There’s always the battle, I feel, as a female. You’re always going to be fighting. And you’re always going to be fighting something really big," said Southern California native Camille Rose Garcia, whose painting "Someone’s in the Wolf" illustrates that conflict using characters straight out of a feverish fairy tale. (Another painting, "Lolita Phantasm," shows the aftermath of that fight — two battered beauties standing on either side of the wolf’s decapitated head, filling their brimming chalices with his blood. "They’re coming into their power and [becoming] aware of their strength," the artist explained.)
Blending beauty, horror and humor, Garcia, 46, uses the visual language of vintage cartoons and classic children’s stories — filtered through a surreal, psychedelic lens — to explore such subjects as female sexuality, feminine identity and the cultural clash between the manmade, natural and spiritual worlds. The result is equal parts Edward Gorey and Brothers Grimm; Walt Disney by way of David Lynch; Betty Boop with a dash of William S. Burroughs."
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Image: Camille Rose Garcia, "Lolita Phantasm." | Courtesy of Corey Helford Gallery