Private Empire: The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa

Submitted by KMonoxide on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 14:21.
10/12/2007 - 18:00
10/12/2007 - 22:00

Arabella Proffer has created a fictional National Portrait Gallery, whose works are a juxtaposition of modernity with aristocratic tradition. Her subjects sport twenty-first century punk and gothic styles as part of their formalwear, but without the mohawks and piercing, each portrait resembles typical late medieval or Renaissance portraits. Proffer notes: "this series centers around balance of counter-culture and tradition; how punk or gothic styles might be adopted by royalty and socialites for serious portraits left as a reminder of their legacy. What was once considered rebellious has now become widely accepted. Traditionally, each portrait preserves what may later be a historical moment. In the case of this series however, some the 'historical' moments are of my own imagination"

As complements to the portraits, Proffer has created genealogies, maps and short biographies. Themes of decadence, beauty, entitlement and power play throughout the series.

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Arabella Proffer is a Cleveland based painter, illustrator and co-founder of the indie label Elephant Stone Records. She received her BFA from California Institute of the Arts and has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Ana, Laguna Beach, Boston, Austin, Cleveland, Cincinnati, London and Moscow. Her interests revolve around a fascination with punk fashion; aristocrats; Elizabethan portraiture; Ian Schrager hotels; vapid socialites; eastern European cultures and rock n' roll lifestyles.

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Asterisk Gallery
2393 Professor Ave.
Cleveland, OH
United States
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Definitely a must-see Art Walk

Same night as Labor and Industry at Brown's Market.  Arabella Proffer's work looks really intriguing and I have to commend the current show at Asterisk, too.  I love abstract art and op art --I truly hate myself for not buying a mesmerizing Julian Stanczak  yellow piece that was offered at a ridiculously low price during one show at CIA way back.  The current solo show by Dan March has some of the same ability to transfix the viewer.  I love getting lost in a piece of art and these works succeed.  Don't miss Douglas Max Utter's dreamy twister landscapes at Last Exit gallery, too. (Actually called exit ( a gallery space) located on West 14th St. across from Tortilla Feliz)>