Skip

witty cross-cultural visual narratives
July 11, 2009 10:25 PM   Subscribe

On Tender Hooks: The Art of Isabel Samaras. Often [NSFW] playfully erotic and lightly sly. She does mashups, mischievously marrying classic Old Master paintings and contemporary culture.

A YouTube video of her pointing out details of her recent work.

Her blog links to other lowbrow artists, such as R. Sikoryak l Travis Louie, curating the Monster? group art exhibition l Ron English.

The Lowdown on Lowbrow, trailer vid for the documentary about this type of art. "Into The Woodz", re-imagining traditional fairy tales.

A little about her. A bit more: Narrative Painter of Secret Love. An interview with her.

Previously.
posted by nickyskye (19 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice find!
posted by KokuRyu at 11:26 PM on July 11, 2009


She may be good as an artist, but as an artisan phrase etymologist, she could use some help: On Tender Hooks -> On Tenterhooks
posted by paulsc at 11:32 PM on July 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is the beheading connected to the fact that the executioner is from Baghdad? :/ Or am I reading too much into it?
posted by jfrancis at 11:59 PM on July 11, 2009


paulsc: "She may be good as an artist, but as an artisan phrase etymologist, she could use some help: On Tender Hooks -> On Tenterhooks"

I think there's a chance that that is an intentional, you know, pun...
posted by benzo8 at 11:59 PM on July 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Pee Wee Herman as Saint Sebastian has made my weekend.
posted by longsleeves at 12:16 AM on July 12, 2009


What is her thing with ta moko (Maori facial tattoo)? I am trying to figure out what this would signify to an international audience. I am not sure I approve of this cheap appropriation.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:17 AM on July 12, 2009


Most of these are pretty slick - I really dig this Pee-Wee and this Herman, in particular. That's absolutely the face I'd picture Pee-Wee making were he ever shot with arrows!

I gotta say, though, the whole slash-fic thing with the hot sidekick action is pretty old and busted at this point. Yes, yes, yes, LOLshortpants. That's just a quibble, though - I dug most of these, and plenty of them were downright brilliant.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:50 AM on July 12, 2009


I'll eat my hat if this is not fakery.
posted by srboisvert at 6:12 AM on July 12, 2009


Fake whattery?
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:41 AM on July 12, 2009


Are you accusing her of Photoshopping or lightboxing or something? They're clearly photo referenced and ... painting referenced, I guess, but that's totally cricket.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:01 AM on July 12, 2009


She may be good as an artist, but as an artisan phrase etymologist, she could use some help: On Tender Hooks -> On Tenterhooks

*wooosh*
posted by voltairemodern at 10:54 AM on July 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Regarding the appropriation of tribal facial tattoo: on the American west coast these tattoos are not so uncommon, and most of the people with these tattoos are of Anglo-Saxon descent. She may be referencing the neo-tribal American counter-cultural rebellion more than she is Maori culture.
posted by idiopath at 11:30 AM on July 12, 2009


benzo8: I dunno, I see the phrase tenderhooks about as often as tenterhooks. If you are going to make a pun, a common spelling mistake is a poor choice for one, I think. Like if I punned lose and loose. In this day and age, thanks to the ubiquity and limitations of spellcheck, the spellings of loose and lose are pretty much interchangeable in practice, so the pun gets obfuscated in the infuriatingly common error.
posted by idiopath at 11:35 AM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


paulsc, Isabel Samaras deliberately chose the common misuse of the word as her book title because that's what this style of art is about, playing on low brow pop culture by using high brow art/language and having pop culture fun with it, often adding an erotic twist.

i_am_joe's_spleen, in the formal portrait of the aristocrat whose face is covered with Maori facial tattoo, the artist is depicting what would have been the kind of person likely to have been part of colonizing and the facial tattoo style of the people who would have been colonized and fancy old Brit wearing California new pop fashion. Then reversing the idea, using Marsha Brady with a traditional Maori tattoo, contrasting pop culture with old culture, melding highbrow with lowbrow.
posted by nickyskye at 12:34 PM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The raft of the Minnow", was also painted 15 years ago by a friend of mine...by coincidence. Only his was a mockup of a "TV Guide" cover, which I thought gave it an exrtra level of irony. I guess it's only a matter of time before all the pop culture comes seeping out.
posted by pepcorn at 1:10 PM on July 12, 2009


What is her thing with ta moko (Maori facial tattoo)? I am trying to figure out what this would signify to an international audience. I am not sure I approve of this cheap appropriation.

To what extent is Mike Tyson a pop culture icon? I don't know, but perhaps that's why she has her "thing".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:21 PM on July 12, 2009


She may be referencing the neo-tribal American counter-cultural rebellion

The cover image of On Tender Hooks reminds me a lot of the McKenney and Hall portraits of Native American chiefs; some, like Wa-Baun-See, have the same combination of facial painting/tattoos with formal European dress.
posted by raygirvan at 4:34 PM on July 12, 2009


paulsc, Isabel Samaras deliberately chose the common misuse of the word as her book title because that's what this style of art is about, playing on low brow pop culture by using high brow art/language and having pop culture fun with it, often adding an erotic twist.
posted by nickyskye at 3:34 PM on July 12 [1 favorite +] [!]

I never love the Blue more, than when it coddles apparent village idiots, such as me, so tenderly to its collective, or individual, breast...

Nevertheless, by my lights, it was a groaningly crappy title, and therefore, a notably ineffective "pun." Really, sixth grade kids still get trapped in such things.
posted by paulsc at 5:19 PM on July 12, 2009


Dear paulsc, am happy to coddle, any time, on tender hooks even. :) Oooh that collective -or individual- breast. I do think the groaningly crappy, child-like nature of the pun -but with a naughty twist- is part of that lowbrow art genre wit.
posted by nickyskye at 5:49 PM on July 12, 2009


« Older Halp your Queen's boobs, My Lord!   |   Oglaf Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post