Behind Vanessa Prager's Sweetness in 'In the Pink', Lies Nastiness
Vanessa Prager serves generous helpings of sweetness with a layer of nastiness underneath in her latest show In the Pink. There is absolutely nothing grotesque about Prager's pretty canvases, they are visually delightful, confection-infused, mini-masterpieces. Behind the sweetness, lies impactful messaging about women's bodies - how we are seen and how we want to be seen. That's what I've always loved about Prager's paintings, not to be fooled by her stunning pastel color palette, but to look closer and listen to the semi-figurative female subjects in her canvases.
Prager's In the Pink marks her second solo show at The Hole, and the focus this time around shifts from beauty to bodies. In her 2016 show, Voyeur, the thick and textural paintings revealed women's faces, their chunky surfaces likened to women's heavily caked-up faces and the gaze society casts upon them. In this latest body of work, fourteen new rich oil on canvas works, Prager pulled from porn content and painted nude bodies, single or several, in provocative positions. In the title piece In the Pink, a woman is spread eagle and reveals her sweet pink nether area, and in Party of Eight, several figures are entwined and entangled in acts of carnal pleasure.
In our current era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, where we are seeing institutional patriarchy starting to crumble, one movie mogul and CEO at a time, Prager grabs back at the stigma. There is no shame in women exposing, empowering, and enjoying their bodies.
In the Pink will be on view through March 3, 2018 at The Hole, New York.