I've long been an ardent admirer of Liz "Bloodbath" McGrath ~ woman of innumerable talents and one of my aesthetic heroines. Equally comfortable in a gallery, on a stage, or wearing a dress made of candy wrappers.
You see, as if it weren't enough to be an auspiciously brilliant pop surrealist sculptress and artist, she also fronts the theatrical L.A. outlaw rock band Miss Derringer, along with her husband, Morgan Slade. Liz creates all of the album cover designs, naturally.
She sings, she paints, she draws, and she sculpts. But my true love is for her compelling dioramas. Like so many artists I'm drawn to, she finds the loveliness in the grotesque, the magic in the wicked, and binds it all together to craft dark and whimsical little worlds for us.
I'm mad about McGrath's meticulous attention to detail and her penchant for the macabre ~ the unlikely bedfellows of preciousness and freakish oddity. Many of the pieces have a carnival side-show feel, like she's built a tiny stage for a character with a story to unfold...
I'm fortunate enough to own a copy of her lovely and sadly now out-of-print book called Everything That Creeps, which contains gorgeous full-color images of her work, so one can get close to the haunting creatures she's created.
Wide-eyed blue-lipped waifs and mournful two-headed fawns, winsome skeleton birds and tutu-wearing insect girls, they're all in here.
I hope to see her work in person, someday, to peer into the vast reaches of the twisted universe of her imagination.
Until that day, I'll content myself by reading about her adventures on her new blog at my favorite underground art mag, Juxtapoz.