Even if you’re not a lady it is likely that you know Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Rush. Most can admit to having flicked through the shiny glam pages of the likes only to be awed by the immense beauty of the pristine faces and bodies that coat the pages, as well as the superfluous and fantasy products they convincingly advertise will enrich our lives. Louise Upshall turns this invented world upside down cutting up the glossy pages of photo-shopped mannequins to use them as source material for her works. This process is part of her skepticism towards these fashion magazines that she believes, despite their enticing charm and beauty endorse destructive values and myths.
It is not only men who consume the woman’s objectified body, but women engage in this consumption too. Looking at Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson the ordinary girl can’t help but wonder how she got her hair so shiny and why she gets to be a C cup when I am only an A. In Scar Clan, Upshall creates a shrine to women as she explores new contexts for ancient stories, culture and ritual. Her collages and painted images incorporate archaic elements of scarred women surrounded by protective talismans. But she mashes recognizable contemporary faces into these shrines creating bewildering but powerful idols.
Words Isabelle Morgan