Wednesday, March 11, 2009

gilbert oh - oh my!

gilbert oh, elizabeth, acrylic on canvas, 16"x12"

gilbert oh, is a nyc based artist whose haunting acrylics portray such pitch-perfect female figures it is easy to believe that he may be a real lady-killer, so in tune is he with the inner workings of the female psyche. oh's gorgeous women are painted in a luxuriously candid manner, that lends a sense of voyeurism to the often allegorical scenes. his rich colors, and classic execution lend and emotional resonance to the dark scenes. oh often employs caravaggio-esque light and technique to create an intense, dramatic atmosphere. 

gilbert oh, doll's house, acrylic on canvas, 16"x20"

as oh explains, "my work is about the sexuality of women, their fears, fantasies and nightmares." and oh what fantasies and nightmares. oh's women are often antiquated in their dress and environment, but the types of sexual hang-ups, insecurities and desires that the pieces represent are timeless. in doll's house (a new version of which is posted on gilbert's site, with dancing figures in a bucolic, arcadian background) a woman poses stiffly with a riding crop, her head ensconced in a birdcage housing her tormentors. the birds blithely peck at her eyes, bringing forth unsettling streams of gore. this entrapment could be an allegory for sexual repression, and i think that it is telling that the shadow on the wall appears without the birdcage and seems more like a lurking male figure than an echo of the woman's frail, imprisoned frame. 

gilbert oh, raising helen, acrylic on canvas, 16"x12"

i love everything about raising helen. the slightly alien alignment of her features. her long, thin fingers punctuated in alarmingly candy pink nails. i love the cast to her skin and her high, high forehead. there is something old-hollywood nostalgic about her look, but with a modern tint in the neon tone of her nail lacquer and the hungry, self-empowered look of her predators gaze. 

gilbert oh's work will be featured in our may group show, "menace to propriety" at the fenario gallery. i so very much look forward to working with this extremely talented and intelligent artist. his lush paintings are currently featured in the femme fatale group show over at alcove gallery in atlanta, ga.

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