Macabre art is evidently an interest of mine. From previous explorations of Lauren Baker's skull based artwork, I was fortunately approached by Alexia of Leontia Gallery with an invitation to their latest art exhibition entitled 'Flesh', a dark and beautiful celebration of the body expressed in a multitude of ways and mediums.
FLESH is the first of many coming pop-up exhibitions being held by Leontia Gallery, with the aim to present dark, thought provoking artwork all whilst retaining a beautiful aesthetic. FLESH presented the works of Flora Borsi, Maria Koshenkova, Mariska Karto and Magnus Gjoen. Ranging from manipulated photographs to innovative glass work, the carefully curated collection gave an incredibly unique take on the theme of 'flesh'.
Primarily, my focus was on Flora Borsi's interesting photographs that have been skilfully manipulated. All the pieces featured in 'FLESH' were self portraits of the Hungarian artist herself, and with digital manipulation and enhancement, Borsi really captures an etherial sense of beauty whilst retaining a dark mystique.
Maria Koshenkova's glasswork caught my eye, and my heart, immediately due to my fixation with anatomical representations of the heart. I find artistic interpretations of the heart as an anatomical figure fascinating- in fact I'm in the process of designing a tattoo incorporating this as well as lusting over the anatomical heart necklace from The Great Frog. Koshenkova's treatment of her medium- glass- to represent the heart is incredibly intricate and innovative. Using unorthodox techniques of glassblowing, including quick temperature changes creating a cracked, shard like effect, the heart is shown as a symbol for not only an organ for living, but also one for feeling. The strong emotions in each piece is prevalent. The visceral sculptured hearts show Koshenkova visualising how the heart would be rendered if it was aesthetically pliable buy the emotions that fill it.
The penultimate artist, Mariska Karto is heavily influenced by the Renaissance art masters combined with her interest in the human body, both in a physical and sensual form. For her pieces exhibited in 'FLESH', her focus is on the female form, but not depicted as objects of desire, rather as experiencing the moments of desire, loss or love. The powerful emotions shown in her digitally manipulated images use not only nudity to convey the theme, but the effects of fabrics, of lights and shadows and of the elements. Particularly thought provoking was the 'White Lady' (second of the two images below), which has strong religious connotations contrasted with inherent sexual connotations - is the red staining blood, and if so, where from?
Finally, Mahnus Gjoen's skull prints rounded off the 'FLESH' collection perfectly. As my fondness of Lauren Baker suggests, I am a fan of skulls in art - and fashion for that matter as my growing skull print collection increases (thank you Alexander McQueen). Gjoen's large pieces contrast t juxtapose the common themes of the skull as a motif of death with floral images representing life. His other work exhibited at 'FLESH' included a modern take on the religious iconography of Adam and Eve, a controversial take on artistic representation of 'flesh'
Overall, the dark and beautiful 'FLESH' exhibition was a perfectly curated collection of macabre artworks from an extremely talented, carefully selected group of artists who each bring a unique take on the theme of flesh through their eclectic artwork using differing iconography and mediums to portray the emotions expressed through the flesh.
Thank you so much to Alexia for inviting me and taking the time to introduce me to all these wonderful artists and pieces of art.
To find out more about all of the artists from 'FLESH' and to stay in tune with up coming Leontia Gallery pop-up exhibitions visit their website here