Universal Remote

 

By D. Eric Bookhardt

October 14, 2008

Iron Glove: Paintings by Elizabeth Fox

d.o.c.s. Gallery, New Orleans

 

Obama Painting

Elizabeth Fox's paintings such
as Glamour Girl With Remote
explore the interplay of
attraction, connection and
isolation in modern life.

Elizabeth Fox's new paintings — her best work to date — explore the psychic, social and physical spaces inhabited by svelte modern women going about their daily business. Rather than focusing on professional or domestic roles, Fox creates minimal if theatrical situations that explore the subtle or subliminal role of sexiness in modern life. In Mystery Train, a shapely woman in a severely cut but very close-fitting gray suit puts her briefcase on an overhead rack as rows of guys in gray power suits seem almost, but not quite, lost in their newspapers. The minimal treatment of space stresses the coolly impersonal nature of the situation, but the businesswoman's sexy form injects the unspoken intrigue of allure into an otherwise ordinary scene. Interestingly painted with few but sharply etched details, it's all rather dreamlike while illustrating how the machinations of money, and the irrational aspects of attraction, interact in a culture where things must be sexy, and sex is a thing or close to it.

 

In Fox's Wheels of Ambition triptych, a glamour girl wields the levers of power and gets caught up in the wheels of industry in a scene that recalls Fritz Lang's classic film Metropolis. Glamour Girl With Remote is like a latter-day update of those old Hollywood scenes where some sexy vixen in a Jean Harlow vein reclines on silk sheets with a box of chocolates, only here the glamour girl is relaxing at home with a universal remote. The digital home entertainment center is implicit.

 

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