Whilst researching into E.V. Days work I realized she did a piece with artist and musician Kembra Pfahler. Both artists are really into researching and involving the female body in their work as am I with my final major project.
Together they created a series of digitally manipulated photographs of Pfahler in her standard dress in Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny. (These are shown above) This image and the others in the series were shown in a recent 2012 exhibition at The Hole gallery in New York, sponsored by Playboy.com, confirming that we’ve come to a point in the cycle where the willingness to look at pornography is now received as part of the culture as a whole, no longer marginal. Pfahler performs in full-body make-up wearing usually only gloves, boots and a large bouffant with a bow as the living embodiment of illustrator LeRoy Neiman’s Femlin character who populated the pages of Playboy starting in 1955. The Femlin characters sometimes had Caucausian skin, sometimes flamboyantly colored skin like purple or red. Pfahler usually performs in pink, blue or green, occasionally orange, and sometimes neon.
In Untitled 24 shown above ^^^ , Pfahler sits at a pond’s edge with a small fence acting parenthetically to frame the figure in relation to the garden beyond, emphasizing her alien presence. Day manipulates her images to highlight the symmetry and oddity of the costumed woman in this luxurious, robust garden with the daylilies visually repeating the pink body paint on the figure, shifting the flora around her to accent her and her position as the center of the image. Pfahler looks like an alien plopped down mysteriously into this situation. What’s fascinating about this image is that it is difficult to un-see Pfahler in the garden. If you look at an image of Monet’s garden without Pfahler in it, you want her there. Day’s accomplishment is powerful in that the garden alone looks strangely wanting without her manipulations and her made-up sitter-quite a feminist intervention to rework the image of Monet’s gardens.
Kemra’s other work is also very interesting – a few images are below.. I find her work very luring to look at, its so ‘in your face’ that you don’t really know what part to look at first. One thing her work never fails to have is colour, that’s what makes it stand out so much!