Vanity Fear

Linda Toigo, Glam, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

Linda Toigo, Glam, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

The practice of book destruction is raising more and more the ethical question whether it is morally right to tear apart an object with such a cultural and historical value.

What happens instead to the perception of book alteration when the same exercise is applied to a volume whose material quality is less relevant than the functional value?

If the wrecked object was a magazine, would the viewers’ attention be more focused on the work itself than on the brutal slaughter of the original media? Would the artistic act be stronger, or would it instead lose its point?

With these questions in mind, some months ago I started to work on Vanity Fear, a series of portraits carved into fashion magazines.

One first inspiration has been Douglas Gordon’s series Blind Stars, 2002. In his work, he replaces the eyes from photographs of Hollywood icons with white, black or mirror paper creating a tension between the original familiarity of the images and their disturbing alterations.

My portraits are carved from an equally familiar object of visual consumption such as a glossy periodical and their aim is to offer the viewers a similar feel of discomfort.

Douglas Gordon, Blind Star Series: Mirror Blind Greta, 2002

Douglas Gordon, Blind Star Series: Mirror Blind Greta, 2002

Linda Toigo, The Manager, experimental alteration

Linda Toigo, The Manager, experimental alteration

Linda Toigo, Hello Summer, experimental alteration

Linda Toigo, Hello Summer, experimental alteration

After a certain time spent experimenting different altering techniques on various kind of magazines, I decided to focus on fashion publications and to examine the sleek imagery of perfection represented in  them. 

Jake and Dinos Chapman, One day you will no longer be loved II, 2008

Jake and Dinos Chapman, One day you will no longer be loved II, 2008

Jake and Dinos Chapman,  in their series One day you will no longer be loved, “improve” or “rectify” found Victorian paintings by adding signs of decomposition on the original oil paintings, willing to question the concept of immortality reserved to the depicted elite. 

Willing to use a similar ironic and dark approach, I carved the pages of found magazines to single out particular elements, that through their accumulation on the cover would create a disturbing new image: smiling lips, bright eyes and translucent legs, extracted from their original context and exposed as a multitude are no longer elements of beauty but become part of disfigured creatures.

In Gioia, only limbs are kept while the rest of the pages has been cut away: the result is a soft coloured palette of glossy legs and harms floating like ghosts around a smiling face.

Linda Toigo, Glam, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

Linda Toigo, Gioia, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

Some stages of the work in progress show how the layers are created page after page

Some stages of the work in progress show how the layers are created page after page

Linda Toigo, Gioia, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

Linda Toigo, Gioia, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

Bluebeard’s wives is a crowded gathering of women’s faces found in the pages of a Harper’s Bazaar magazine, mounted on baby pink cardboard and hanged on the upper edge of the magazine.The title refers to the children’s classic fairy tale Bluebeard, where women are condemned and punished for their curiosity.

Linda Toigo, Bluebeard's wives, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, Bluebeard’s wives, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Bluebeard's wives, work in progress

Bluebeard’s wives, work in progress

Linda Toigo, Bluebeard's wives, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, Bluebeard’s wives, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Dior reveals the presence of women’s lips throughout the volume of an Italian Glamour magazine.

Linda Toigo, Dior, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, Dior, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, Dior, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

Linda Toigo, Dior, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

In D, different layers of a  woman’s respiratory system is cut through the pages to create a fragile and intricate superposition of paper organs. Within the pages, the anatomical images dialogue with the existing pictures offering  the two-dimensional figures the illusion of heartbeat and deep breaths.

Linda Toigo, D, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, D, Vanity Fear series, 2014
D, work in progress

D, work in progress

Linda Toigo, D, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, D, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, D, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, D, Vanity Fear series, 2014

This is an ongoing series that will be exhibited in London at my solo exhibition, in few weeks time: more information to be posted soon!

Linda Toigo, Pink Winter's Irresistible Shade, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, Pink Winter’s Irresistible Shade, Vanity Fear series, 2014

Linda Toigo, Vangelina, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

Linda Toigo, Vangelina, Vanity Fear series, 2014 (detail)

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. […] multitude of a magazine’s smiling lips, bright eyes and translucent limbs is exposed in ‘Vanity Fear’, an unsettling series of portraits that hang in the solemn space. Alongside this, ‘Paper […]

  2. […] with Vanity Fear, the series of portraits from magazines I have recently written about, the display will […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: