In the exhibition “Fancy Lady Boots” Imagine That would like to present the works of two of our artists, Beth Hartley and Lavon King. The works from both of these artists gravitate toward the figure in a number of different mediums.
Lavon’s paintings use muted tones, loose brush strokes, and ceremonious poses to create portraits of women that reflect both gentleness and strength. She describes the joy she gets from painting women who “look like her”, creating dark skin tones that match her own. She surrounds them with floral accessories, “fancy” hair styles and sometimes lavish settings, projecting nobility, while the nude figures themselves add to the vulnerability of the work. Lavon has been attending Imagine That! since 2015 and continues to expand her skillset in painting, especially oils.
In Beth’s smaller and more minimal works (which she calls Boots), she uses harsh angles, and
exaggerated body parts, to provide the playful side to the conventional nude. Basing her works around traditional figure study poses, her nudes are contorted into a humorous and dramatic parody. While these small ink figures don’t express the same regal mood as Lavon’s, each one is an example of her ideal figure abstracted from her reference material. The playful colors, poses, and facial expressions put off a sense of confidence and whimsy that you might not otherwise get from the traditional nude figure. Beth has been attending Imagine That! since 2012 and has since built a body of work showcasing her unique style and exhibited pieces nationally and internationally as far away as Ireland.
These works strive to create meaningful dialogue not only about inclusiveness in the arts, but also about the body - what people find to be beautiful, vulnerable, and powerful about it, regardless of the size, shape, or ability of that body - and the positivity that can come from that conversation.