About Absurd Imaginaries
Figurative artists Julie Liger-Belair and Jessica Calderwood draw upon surrealist motifs and folklore in playful yet subversive explorations of gender, identity, and fantasy in our newest exhibition, Absurd Imaginaries. While distinct in their mediums and aesthetics, the two artists share more than a few similarities in their approaches. Both artists play with simultaneously revealing and concealing the female figure, a flirtatious dance between invitation and denial.
Liger-Belair’s collages pair Victorian-era portraits with whimsical hand-painted floral and geometric patterns that adorn and camouflage both the figure and background. The rigidity of the women’s high collared garb and somber expressions are contrasted by the fanciful, dreamlike landscapes.
Similarly, Calderwood’s near life-size porcelain sculptures of heel-clad figures are often overtaken by geometric masses of metal-sculpted foliage or gumball-like clusters of felt and polymer clay. Also, a jewelry designer, Calderwood’s love for embellishment is evident. Far from trinkety jewelry, however, these decorative masses of flowers or brightly colored baubles become like armor that encases the figure, masking and shielding it from its surrounding environment.