Heather Accurso’s most recent mixed-media drawing series, World Situation, combines fantasy with reality. Contemporary cherubic angels sprouting botanical projections protect humans and nature from today’s threats. They fight or overcome war, terrorism, natural disasters and the exploitation of the earth’s resources. Whether the Putti are successful, or not, is unclear, for the act of saving is not depicted in resolution.
She began the series while residing in Cologne, Germany from 2003 to 2008. Living in a foreign country, still physically and psychologically affected by World War II’s devastation and overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush administration’s policies, fueled her decision to make political work. Also significant--several students in her intensive German classes had fled oppressive situations in their own countries. Important artistic influences in Cologne were Stephan Lochner’s luminescent cherubs and Ernst Barlach’s Floating Angel.
Despite serious motives, Accurso strives to entertain, presenting harsh, but open-ended juxtapositions wherein humor, horror, the bizarre and current events co-mingle. The work’s obsessive, Surreal style is the product of Chicago Imagist roots.