Phyllis Bramson

Region: Midwest

 My paintings often feature strong female images, blending fantastical elements of seduction and eroticism with the apparent innocence of fairy tales and kitsch (think Disneyland meets Bollywood). Within these fabricated worlds, fairy tale–like paintings unfold but are unresolved and are not as wholesome as one might believe. My work does not imitate proper behavior, nor does it function like a monogamous relationship.

The basic theme of my work has always been love and affection in a hostile world. Like the Rococo, accused of containing “illicit fanciful joining and promiscuity.” Using the embodiment of everything excessive, contaminated and unnatural . . . in other words, uncontrolled imagination. The Rococo and Chinoiserie style of my paintings is colored by my childhood—my parents were avid collectors of alternative and erotic art, much of it Asian and within a kitsch decor.

Painting, like life, is riddled with paradoxical opposition in terms of fact and fiction, both conceptually and visually—as these are dramatic times of diversity and complexity. That’s how the world is—it functions and doesn’t function. Likewise, my paintings function and don’t function.