For those of you attending the opening reception for “Ephemeral Antidotes” on Saturday, January 7th, there will be copies of my book available!
Taking inspiration from artists of the Renaissance to Rococo periods, contemporary artist Arabella Proffer has re-imagined the mannerist portrait with a pop surrealist twist. After researching fashion history, heraldry, and peerage protocol, she went on to create her own world parallel to that of old world Europe. Concocting a family legacy — ancestors that could belong to anyone – it has become an impulse and a passion the artist continues to explore, adding characters and stories to her ever-growing private empire of punks, goths, and nobility behaving badly.
As a young punk Arabella Proffer observed firsthand how important fashion was to groups that supposedly rejected being labeled. Their uniformed rebellion became commonplace; tattoos, piercings, bizarre hair colors… all have gone on to become high fashion. As a lover of Elizabethan portraiture, she wondered what it would have been like if the aristocracy of centuries past had taken to these fashions, looking rebellious, shocking, regal and grand all at once as a reminder of their legacy.
“To get a tattoo or piercing is expensive even in the modern age,” says Proffer. “These would have been considered status symbols for only the very rich in centuries past, and thus, they’d want to flaunt them in their commissioned portraits. A king or queen would have had the biggest Mohawk and sleeve tattoos, that’s how I imagine it. These are very tribal adornments, but if marketed as a luxury, you can bet the royal courts of Europe would have taken it to an extreme. I wanted to combine the ancestor worship perpetuated by noble families with my love of old portraiture and punk imagery.”
Included are over 40 portraits created between 2000 and 2011, their stories, family trees, map and more, as well as a foreword by Josh Geiser of Creep Machine and Paper Devil.
Apologies to those of you who have pre-ordered and have waiting, they’re coming! You can order from Amazon, but I suggest direct from CooperativePress.com