Local painter Arabella Proffer gives a shout-out to old-school punks in her new exhibit, Private Empire: The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa, which opens tonight at Asterisk Gallery. Everyones got piercings and mohawks now, she says. I wondered how aristocrats would feel about it. More than two dozen portraits depict nobility sporting medieval finery and punk-era coifs. Each pays tribute to the SoCal scene, where Proffer slummed during the 90s. I had a big white mohawk, she says. I stopped shaving and wearing makeup. I got a tattoo at 15. By 20, I realized how full of shit it was.
Proffer moved to Cleveland four years ago and discovered a street-dark society, where teens expressed themselves with their hair and clothing. Its funny that these movements were meant to be self-destructive and nonconformist, she says. Theyll never die. They just keep mutating into something new and weird for suburban kids.
Oct. 12-Nov. 2, 2007
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