Lauren Holland

Gallery Affiliations: Anna Kustera

Region: Pacific Coast

City / State: Long Beach, CA

Through my work, I strive to create a world that is (at least superficially) seductively disturbing yet beautiful, alluring and interesting. Using satire and allegory, I attempt to deconstruct popular culture's objectification of the Black female body, denounce contemporary and historicized stereotypes and dissect common cultural misconceptions and assumptions about African-American and Afro-Latina women. Characterized by a strange marriage of the exquisite and the grotesque, the refined and the lowbrow, the fantastic and the mundane, my work analyzes conflicting social and cultural perceptions about the Black female body; the Black female body has often been perceived as sexually desirable and exotic, while simultaneously anomalous, menacing, filthy and deviant. I deliberately juxtapose images and objects from different contexts and sources in order to construct complex satires that question and challenge preconceived notions about racial, class and gender identities. Narrative is also an important element within my work; by incorporating highly specific yet ambiguous details, my works acquire multiple, multi-layered narrative interpretations. I draw inspiration from a variety of sources including magazines, movies, music videos, theatrical productions, Voodoo and Santeria rituals, Tarot, palmistry, poetry and literature. (Artists influential to my work and ideas include Francisco de Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, Freda Kahlo, Romare Bearden, Lari Pitman, Alexis Rockman, William Pope.L and Coco Fusco.