a solo exhibition by Arabella Proffer.
On View: Saturday, Jan. 7th – Friday, Feb. 3rd, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, Jan. 7th, 2012 from 8pm-10pm
1681 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
Skin of the Fox Cures the Pox 16x20" oil on linen
“Ephemeral Antidotes” is a collection of paintings exploring the medical superstitions and practices of centuries past. Continuing in the tradition of imaginary portraits with fictional narratives, now documented in her new book, The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa, Arabella Proffer’s new series consists of more surreal figurative pieces, bold with color, and an underlying darkness.
In 2010 Proffer was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer; in the process of being treated she wondered what it would have been like to endure the cures and surgeries of her favorite periods in art history.
“After having a section of my leg removed, I began researching medicine from the Middle Ages through the 18th century; this series was a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I'm going through is nothing compared to old remedies and techniques. My art and interests were in the way society lived in the past, but with emphasis on the defiant, glamorous, and eccentric -- not daily strife. You could have been rich, important, or beautiful, but if sick, you would still receive brutal or worthless treatment.”
Violets For Heart Veins 16x20" oil on linen
Done in oil on linen, each painting is accompanied by a biography, written by Proffer, highlighting both the fascinating and horrifying aspects of old medicine. She hopes viewers will find them both educational, and beautiful.
Arabella Proffer is a painter whose loose narrative themes revolve around a fascination with punk rock, Elizabethan fashion, gothic divas, religious icons, and the decline of European aristocracy. Her figurative and portrait work has been described as everything from neorealism to pop surrealism, touching on identity, history, rebellion, and refinement.
Earning her BFA from California Institute of the Arts, she has participated in group and solo exhibitions throughout North America and Europe. She is also an arts educator and co-founder of indie record label Elephant Stone Records. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she has taken up residence in Laguna Beach, Boston, Los Angeles, and currently works from her studio in Cleveland, Ohio.