Jennine Scarboro

Region: MFA Annual

I combine tropes of beauty with aspects of the monster to create female figures in which fascination and revulsion intersect. Beauty is a potent fantasy. At every level of culture, from Mattel’s Barbie to Botticelli’s Venus, the beauty of proportion, harmony, and unity of discrete parts has been celebrated. Nowhere more so than in the fashion magazine, from which I cull details—a pert nose, a set of gleaming white teeth, or blonde locks—to make paintings of gigantic malformed oddities fused from lumps of paint and scribbles of graphite. The monster is a magical creature whose immense power comes not from exquisite beauty but from grotesque ugliness. The dual being in my paintings, whom I call the Hideous Siren, incorporates opposing fantasies, each with its own power. She is at once alluring and horrific.