I am captivated by imagery that tells a story. So I was quite transfixed when I happened upon the work of Lesley Reppeteaux ~ dark and dreamy paintings of fairytale characters with secrets in their solemn eyes.
And it's the eyes that are most distinctive and compelling in Reppeteaux's images ~ the exaggerated ovals make her women look sorrowful, as if filled with unbearable knowledge they cannot un-know. Often half-creature and half-woman, her lovelies are frequently trapped in some borderland between freedom and captivity, between innocence and experience.
In a recent show at Thinkspace in LA, Reppeteaux hung 22 paintings that told the tragic Greek myth of Persephone and Hades. It's a perfect tale for her sensibilities ~ surrounded by lotus flowers and pomegranate motifs, her pale maiden of the underworld wears pinstriped stockings.
I found this apt description from her: "My work reads like painted fables filled with strange characters telling sordid stories. I blend the worlds of literature and fantasy to create a peculiar world where pouty-lipped vixens and melancholy beauty resides, striking a balance between the lovely and bizarre, creating paintings with chimera and charm."
Her serpentine lines are Art Nouveau-inspired, her details lyrical in their unfolding of the songs of these forgotten heroines. She is a woman of many talents ~ some of her recent works include glass mosaic frames that become part of the artwork, and she is also an accomplished comic book artist. I am entranced by her vision.
To my dismay, there does not seem to be a comprehensive gallery of Lesley's work online ~ her own website features only currently available works, and there are a smattering of galleries with small collections.
Still, you may find her through her website, and her blog, cheerfully sub-headed "the happily out-of-date adventures of Lesley." There is also a good interview with her here, and a lovely video on YouTube that pairs her work with a PJ Harvey song. I will surely be keeping an eye out for more painted fables from her...