No. I’m not talking about the plant (though it is one of the cooler plants you can have in your house). It’s the newest show at the Hibbleton Gallery in Fullerton, Ca. Kellesimone Waits is the artist highlighted in Venus Fly Trap, that runs through the end of the month.
Her artwork is very interesting. The women in her paintings look awkward in their poses. I may be projecting, but most of the faces also seem uncomfortable and a little sad at their state.
You see, every woman is portrayed in a bikini. A very tiny bikini.
I’ve never been comfortable around lots of women in bikinis, but I didn’t know why until I was standing in the Hibbleton. I become one of the many people looking at these women displaying themselves as though they were the wares of a swap meet vendor. And I don’t want to be that, even unintentionally.
Kellesimone’s work forces the viewer to become one of the many potential buyers, which is very interesting. To view her art is to become a voyeur. Her art presents a seemingly open picture of the women, but the aspects of what makes these women human are hidden. Their backgrounds are bland and revealing as much as their outfits reveal their bodies. It traps the viewer to thinking that they know the the people being portrayed, but there isn’t enough information to truly know the women.
I wonder if the element of unknown knowing comes from her life. Kellesimone Waits is the daughter of Tom Waits, and through much of the show and discussion of the show, her father became the focus. He showed up late to the opening, but as soon as he did, a nearly awed hush overtook the crowd. Which was quickly replaced by fervent discussions on the best way to ask him for a photo or autograph.
And Kellesimone’s artwork faded to the background. Tom Waits’ body language communicated that he was not overly excited by the attention he was drawing. But he remained gracious, and I liked him even more for that.
The art show was very fun, and I like what Kellesimone Waits was doing with her artwork. The show’s up until May is over, so if you’re in the area, you should check it out. And if you do wander through the show, let me know what you think!