Essie Wood’s hypnotic paintings reveal the darker side of femininity

Icy WoodThe panels work like the Tumblr mercury mood board from the early 2000s. Drafted in Stream Consciousness style, the works seem very intimate and impersonal. Wood’s style is imparted by the hand of a skilled painter, and it’s a game alike pop art And the Surrealism. Focusing on ordinary household items, Wood’s paintings and the mysterious case in which things appear, such as gold teeth or a brown leather trench coat, viewers are left wondering if this is real life or just a fantasy.

Wood was born in Denham, North Carolina, and raised in a family of doctors in London, where she now resides. Perhaps her upbringing helps explain the analytical view that Wood uses in her paintings. One of the works was shown until November 12 at its first solo show in New York called “Time Sensitive” in Michael Werner Gallery, who co-starred with the artist with Carlos/Ishikawa, depicts an open mouth viewed from the side revealing a gum ulcer. titled Ulcer Awards 1 (2022), the picture is as succulent as it is hideous. The point of clinical preference mimics a dentist’s viewpoint during a crown examination, but the intimacy of a potential aberration to a disease of unknown nature shows in viewers an unease about all things medical.

Wood, now 29, who has a master’s degree from the Royal Academy in London, has had the kind of interdisciplinary success unmatched with her peers. She’s a rising graphic artist with an active secondary market, plus she’s a musician – her debut album My body is your choice It was released independently earlier this month. Wood’s careers in the art world and the music industry intertwine with one another in her ability to find and represent femininity in masculine things.

In her music video for Lena Dunham’s “Both” (2022), Wood paints common motifs, such as a clock, on actress Harry Nef’s body. The same object appears in the dark corners of the Silent Panel Idea for playing card (2022), which depicts a pink basin in its center. This painting, which is not included in Time Sensitive, is a beautiful picture with a sinister tinge that leaves viewers wondering why they are so obsessed with time-consuming activities around the aquarium. candid about it Date With irregular eating, Wood subtly points out in the plate the tools or spaces that provoke and enable cleansing.

The clock is a running feature in Time Sensitive, because it evokes both Alice in WonderlandLike escaping into a dream world, but also our strange relationship with time in the digital age where one can easily waste time with social media, emails and text messages. As Wood states in the accompanying exhibition catalog, “What does ‘of life’ mean even in this day and age?”

The tension lies in other businesses, too. frighteningly big Roger Sterling with his future ex-wife (2022) features cut-out details from the TV show mad men (2007-15). The painting depicts an older businessman leaning in to kiss a younger woman encrusted with diamonds and precious stones. Although the reference image is from a fictional story, the scene evokes the kinds of leaked footage that now plague our public figures. Wood reiterated the notion that the damned revelation of nearly every strong person was on a track called “Monica Lewinsky” on her latest album.

In this way, Wood quickly draws viewers to the next vignette – enlarged details of the DialPak container with pills in in a bad manner (2022). The contrast is enough to give audiences a punch while setting the tone for how Wood communicates emotions. Like mood boards and memes, Wood’s works demonstrate how sophisticated our intuitive interpretation of everyday communication is, rendering explicit narrative plots unnecessary. Wood’s paintings are powerful on their own not only for the artist’s consummate skill as an illustrator, but also for her organization of images that say a lot without saying anything at all.

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