CURRENT AND UPCOMING SHOWS:
Women of Absurdia
Carter Burden Gallery
September 7 - 28th, 2017
Opening Reception 6-8pm September 7
Pop-Surreal Playground Curated by Greg Escalante
Art Share LA
September 20 - October 8, 2017
Opening Reception 7 -10pm September 23
Group Show Curated by John Seed
Opening Reception Saturday, December 2, 6-8pm
Runs Dec 2 - 13, 2017
Obsessed with the seductive force of modern female icons, and fascinated by the line between beauty and distortion; theatricality and truth; and authenticity and conformity; my colorist, expressionist paintings reflect the on going love/hate relationship between women, societal standards, and self-esteem.
STATEMENT FOR CARTER BURDEN SOLO SHOW
"Women of Absurdia" exhibiting my "Is This A Dagger?" series
“Is This A Dagger” references Macbeth’s famous soliloquy “Is this a dagger I see before me?... Come let me clutch thee; I have thee not and yet I see thee still…”. Macbeth, about to stab and murder his way to power, finds himself haunted by the very means he must use to acquire it.
Similarly, these Pageant contestants and their means to attain power, haunt me. I am as ambivalent as Macbeth about what I should and should not do, about what means I can comfortably embrace to gain power as a woman in America. Because in my experience, the qualities most readily encouraged and applauded, even crowned in the paintings here, are all beauty-centric. Unlike Macbeth who, though arguably evil, takes his power outright and actively, women’s power is more often gained insidiously, granted through the gaze of another: it is a power of inducement and seduction. Equally hard work, and equally hard on the soul if that is all we glorify and reward in ourselves.
I am both drawn to and repulsed by the idea of these Beauty competitions. The pageants offer empowerment, but simultaneously, exploitation. And I by painting them, perhaps, can be accused of the same. As a member of American society I can’t help wanting, on some level, to be like these women. They’re the ideal. But simultaneously, I strive to not want to want to be like these women. To find my self-esteem elsewhere. But self-esteem is not the same as societal approbation.
I am fascinated by the deep investment these women have in these contests. It is hard work, but unfortunately, can appear shallow. Their utter joy at winning is so exultant, that at times, it appears falsely theatrical, if not lunatic. Can they be that happy? Or is it just another role they’re expected to play? Their archetypal poses, the Seductress, the Sassy One, the Silly One, are all recognizable roles that women have sometimes assumed and used to manipulate and coerce. These tropes wield power, but simultaneously feel limiting and impose a diminishment.
These works are based on photographs. Using color and composition, I reinvent them to convey my emotional reaction to each woman pictured, often with an eye to historical art moments as metaphors. The brushwork further emphasizes the overwrought and broken nature of this societal value system. Together, they reflect a system that seems right, but simultaneously, some of the underpinnings show, it’s a little fake, a little bright and over-enthusiastic, and in some ways, perhaps, a little disturbing. But still all the same, it strives to be beautiful.
DROWNING BARBIES, BEAUTY QUEENS AND WONDER WOMAN, AN INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST DAENA TITLE
Artist Jan Nelson and I talk art. Published April 2017 Jan Anders Nelson, Artist Interrupted, Word Press
TITLE'S JUXTAPOSITION BETWEEN JOY AND LUNACY By Lorena Kloosterboer
Featured article in PoetsArtists April 2017 Magazine "The New Feminists"
"Daena Title’s bright, energetic paintings focus on the strong seductive force of contemporary female icons. Loose, powerful brushstrokes and vivid colors help define Title’s fascination with the ambiguous misrepresentation of beauty, feeling particularly drawn to the way heightened expressions of joy can cross a line into an ostensibly distorted or crazy appearance..."
Raised on Long Island, life long Feminist Daena Title received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Theatre Studies from Wellesley College, and then lived in Manhattan until 1991 where she worked as an actress and a writer. Title then returned to painting as the best avenue with which to control her artistic message, mine her ongoing fascination/obsession with the relationship between women and society, and indulge her love of color and design. Her work, which focuses on the powerfully seductive force of modern female icons, has been shown in gallery and museum spaces since 1998, including recent group exhibitions at the Carnegie Art Museum, the Long Beach Art Museum, The Oceanside Museum, the Riverside Musem, the Torrance Art Museum and the LA Art Fair. Title has received critical praise for past solo exhibitions from the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, and the Huffington Post among other publications and is proud that her work has been featured in several PoetsArtists shows and publications, is part of the Brooklyn Museum Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art Online Feminist Art base and the Tullman Collection of Chicago. Title currently resides and works in Los Angeles.