Freakshow Pin Ups. Visual artist and performer Bambi the Mermaid has created a collection of images portraying fantastical creatures, grotesque characters, auto-biographical scenes and fetish dreams in her body of work.
Freakshow Pin Ups
Visual artist and performer Bambi the Mermaid has created a collection of images portraying fantastical creatures, grotesque characters, auto-biographical scenes and fetish dreams in her body of work called Freak Pin-Ups. Bambi's goal in this work is to explore extreme elements of attraction and repulsion that manifest themselves in both everyday life and dramatic presentations. She places both her self-image and her actual self on the line for these images by appearing in each Pin-Up without modesty or vanity and in many cases highlighting perceived flaws and grotesque deformities.
Drawing upon the backdrops of Coney Island, Las Vegas, carny culture and down-trodden America, she has created an almost-Technicolor tableaux of photographic images in which she both stars and directs the process with the assistance of a sympathetic photographer who has documented all of the characters. Her challenge to traditional notions of what elements create attraction, beauty, sexuality, and dominance is played out in the images and characters as they interact with other models or their surroundings. Frequently using masks and animalistic elements to abstract the characters from her real-life comely blonde figure. Recurring themes in her imagery are freak shows, carnival life, lunacy, obsession, fetish, pornography, sex work, and a lot of birds.
Bambi draws upon her years of real-life research in the roles of a stripper, dominatrix, burlesque performer, fetish model, and freak show act. Her concepts evolve from an emotional connection with a character like the girl with lobster hands, a chicken-headed stripper, or a make-up obsessed woman. She presents the characters with both empathy and an unflinching eye to what most people would consider flaws or outright mutations. She celebrates all from freaks of nature to freaks of imagination and the fetishes that spring from internal desires for extreme and unique beauty.
The presentation of the shocking characters in a matter-of-fact point of view adds authenticity to scenes like a dog-headed prostitute waiting at the window for her next trick or a real-life beauty posing on the beach with her pornographic blow-up doll twin. Bambi treats these characters with a novelty no greater than a siliconed stripper or a trussed dominatrix that have become so familiar in popular culture that they are virtually the norm rather than the fetish. Her fetish icons generate both lust and discomfort.
Bambi's images have been seen in solo and group showing in New York City art galleries and a book containing more than fifty different freak pin-ups is planned.
Saturday November 20th
The Dollhaus Art Gallery
New York City