Denise Bibro Fine Art presents Sinister Play, February 3rd through March 5th, 2011. Seven artists explore the duality of imagery which is at once childlike, cute, and cuddly, yet belies disturbing undercurrents of menace, mischief, and violence. Featuring work by Meredith Allen, Nancy Baker, Monika Malewska, Kendrick Mar, Douglas Newton, Jon Pellicoro, and Tim Ripley, Sinister Play includes painting, photography, works on paper, and sculpture. Curated by Denise Bibro, Olympia Lambert, and Almitra Stanley.
Meredith Allen encases stuffed animals in shiny cellophane and photographs them with luminous saturated backdrops. While the effect is seductively cheerful, the images conjure the fatal dangers of small children playing with plastic bags.
Juxtaposing high art and kitsch, Nancy Baker's works in gouache, collage, and glitter on paper utilize wordplay and cartoon icons to expose inequities in our politics, economy, and culture. Hello Kitty (TM) becomes Hello Shitty, wielding a fiery missile; while Hello Titty threatens us with a hand grenade.
Monika Malewska's oils depict bleeding rainbow-hued unicorns, a suspect-looking rabbit bombarded by airplanes, and Godzilla bullying diminutive Pillsbury Doughboys (TM). While her palette embraces pinks and baby blues, hostility lurks at every juncture.
In Kendrick Mar's Decapitation, a pink bear-like toy dumbfoundedly contemplates a decapitated head sitting in a pool of blood. In another image, a muscular, masked executioner lurks behind an innocent looking white creature, his axe poised.
Douglas Newton's painting Celebration depicts an angel-shaped cookie cutter which becomes a damsel in distress, alone and vulnerable amidst a barren, windblown landscape while candy-colored toy airplanes swarm the sky above her.
Jon Pellicoro poses bendable figurines of the Pink Panther and Pee Wee Herman in compromising positions to create a perversely humorous sculpture, and also photographs toys on the beach in disturbing juxtapositions, such as a doll head with a skull.
Playful, bulbous creatures appearing as if sculpted from Play-Doh (TM) are the subjects of Tim Ripley's highly rendered paintings. But, with titles like Devil Bunny and Hand Grenade, Ripley posits that looks