IN BLOOM - Anna Kincaide
The works of artist Anna Kincaide are a gateway to a world that is at once fantastical and familiar, inspired by fashion, photography, as well as elements of the decorative arts. Juxtaposing control and spontaneous disruption, Kincaide emphasizes the hidden, internal landscape of the figures she portrays.
In Bluebird,the minimalist, stark background as well as the geometric shapes formed by the lines of the figures’ black cloth, neck, and jaw-line are juxtaposed by the blooming, fantastical bouquet of shapes and colors in the upper half. The direct relationship between the two halves of the composition is left ambiguous by Kincaide, though the references to history and fashion are clear. Here we are reminded of the extravagant heights of Marie Antoinette’s famous coiffure,which reached greater and greater heights in 18th century France,the iconic headdress of Egyptian queen Nefertiti, the famous French Hood of Anne Boleyn, and the modest Spanish style one of Catherine of Aragon. These powerful women used fashion as a political tool as much as to make a statement.
Francisco Goya,The sleep of reason produces monsters (No. 43), from Los Caprichos, 1799, etching, aquatint, drypoint and burin, 8 7/16 x 5 7/8 in. (Image courtesy of Google Art Project).
While Kincaide incorporates this, and numerous other art historical and fashion references in her work such as fashion photography, illustration, as well as the idea of the portrait bust or silhouette, it is the defining separation between the body and mind that creates the central theme in her work. In short, the idea of the ambiguity between our physical bodies, personal identity and that private, internal space of our minds, which expands and unfurls like a flower in bloom. Like the surrealist vision in the work presented by Spanish artist Francisco Goya,The sleep of reason produces monsters, which shows the artist asleep at his desk as his creations manifest themselves from within, Kincaide presents a world where dream can become reality, and even surpass it.