Learning to Dance with the Maneaters

Description : An oil/mixed media painting of a festive scene. In a luminous ballroom, with a multicolored checkered floor, tigers are dancing with women dressed in red leotards. To the left in the foreground, two women are on the floor. We see one of them with just her feet in the air, red shoes and fishnet stockings. The other woman is lounging, leaning on a crouched tiger who seems to be in cahoots or protecting the two women. Near her hand is a group of bubbles arounf the word « fortitude ». Streams of dancing energy ribbons swirl bringing our eyes to what she has at her fingertips. In the far background against the back wall a ravenous tiger is snacking on a man dressed in a business suit. Most of the tigers are upright on two feet, holding their partner or dancing freestyle. There are clouds of vapor and bubbles that float in the air. We can see glittering music wafting across the image. On the ground are a few spheres and dice. Written in the music we read « L.E.A.R.N.I.N.G. T.O. D.A.N.C.E. W.I.T.H. T.H.E. » and in the bubbles maneaters

This is the painting I did for the festival Gang of Witches “Patriarchy is Burning” at the Palais de Tokyo Juin 2019

Learning to dance with the man eaters

This painting has a literary reference, when reading Angela Carter’s: “Nights at the circus”, a striking visualization came to me. There is a passage where Mignon, a minor character sings with the Princess of Abyssinia and learns that she can hypnotise the tigers with her voice and then eventually develops the courage to dance with them. The force and the strength of the tiger in contrast to the semi-nudity of the women in the painting suggests the disproportion, the enormous gap, in the fight against sexism and oppression. This discord, the extent of the unfairness shows how hard the combat will be. I like the absurdity of the idea of such an impossible feat (taming a tiger), breaking its natural impulse, too dangerous; simply stupid or naive, tempting such peril. First of all the tiger is armed with superior weight, claws, and fangs! Plus femininity values frailty, beauty, and fragility; but what good do those attributes do you on the battlefield? And navagating sexual politics in this society is like going to war. Women’s keys to breaking down traditional roles of passivity and aggression are fearlessness, trust, and patience, reversing the roles of predator and prey. We learn roles, we learn our places in society. Are we just animals that have been tamed and trained ? The Marquis de Sade said that we are either predator or prey, and that “predators must and will devour their natural prey”. To escape the role of the sacrificial lamb, (to be a piece of meat), his suggestion for women was to adopt the characteristics of the predator; because it is an “eat or be eaten” world. But if we want a better society; this is not the solution! The women in my tableau are learning from the tigers how to stage a revolution, not by copying the patriarchal model or adhering to any dogma. No leaning on established beliefs or religious doctrine; just using their own experience, developing an animal instinct.

Learning:

A recurring theme in the stories of Angela Carter, is women becoming “increasingly feral and cat-like”. “The lamb must learn to run with the tigers”, she wrote in regards to de Sade and the subject of adopting “tigerhood”. Tired of being tame the tiger woman wants to break free, to dance toward a rhythmic and untamed future. Learning is similar to transformation- to cross the human/animal divide and transcend boundaries, roles and rules. A metamorphosis is already happening, to the women in the painting, their hands and feet are turning black. A pouring out (the dripping paint), and the feet in the air, represent the need to turn our world upside down. Carter says that refusing fear is the solution. Apollinaire says a new woman will renew the world.

Dance of Death:

Dance is cooperation, one leads, the other follows. In love there is this dynamic as well, strong wills must cede to each other. Bodies in fluid motion suggest an eventuality of evolution. Dance is a celebration where one loses oneself. Is it a dance of death? Medeival popular images of the whole spectrum of society led in a frenzy, dancing until death, these images conveyed a mocking of social position; because we are all equal faced with mortality. I take the idea of the danger of a dance with tigers as another illustration of the dance of death; all these teeth and stripes on the edge of chaos and lunacy.

Why tigers? In Chinese astrology tigers are friendly, brave, competitive, charming and endowed with good luck and authority. With indomitable fortitude and great confidence, people born the year of the tiger can be competent leaders. In Tibetan art they represent: “unconditional confidence, disciplined awareness, kindness, modesty, relaxed yet energized, resting in a gentle state of being that has a natural sense of satisfaction and fulfillment” which I interpret as enlightenment. We are learning to dance from them, and there is so much more that they can teach us.

Patriarchy:

The throne, the king, the businessman are all symbols of the Patriarchy; the eternal father figure, as angry, controlling, exploiting, the punisher. In Beauty and the Beast it is through love that the beast regains his humanity. It is women, mothers and lovers who can bring out the softer sides of men. In The Sadeian Woman A. Carter uses Sade’s work to expose women to their complicity with stereotypes by questioning the experience of seduction. We all could stand to take some inventory, start to prioritise and then reform.

The color Red-The Planet Mars:

These women are not the white sacrificial lambs. They are the exact opposite visually, dressed in blood red, form revealing leotards. The theme for Gang of Witches 2019 is Mars, the red planet, a sister planet to earth in that she shows the possibility of a bleak future for Earth, a warning, of what will happen if we don’t take care of the environment. There are only 3,890 tigers that remain in the wild. We are in danger of extinction, just like the maneaters. We apprehend man’s uselessness as we move towards dependence on machines. The depth of space in the picture, the dance of the couples are reminders of planets orbiting around the sun. Mars also represents the God of war and conflict, Patriarchy is burning.

Witches:

The powerful independent woman who can heal through herbs is accused of being a witch and in all the storybooks the cat is cast as her familiar. They are eternally linked, she is assisted, guided and inspired by her compagnion. It is her double, her alter-ego, sometimes her spy, sometimes her protector. Maybe the women in this painting are witches and the small house cat has grown up into a tiger.

My mode of expression is an illustrative/narative style of painting. For me it is so rich because it can be read on so many different levels. Some of today’s issues can only be explained by a visual language. I’m investigating my world, with each painting.

 

 

Literal Description fo the Painting :

An oil/mixed media painting of a festive scene. In a luminous ballroom, with a multicolored checkered floor, tigers are dancing with women dressed in red leotards. To the left in the foreground, two women are on the floor. We see one of them with just her feet in the air, red shoes and fishnet stockings. The other woman is lounging, leaning on a crouched tiger who seems to be in cahoots or protecting the two women. Near her hand is a group of bubbles around the word « fortitude ». Streams of dancing energy ribbons swirl bringing our eyes to what she has at her fingertips. In the far background against the back wall a ravenous tiger is snacking on a man dressed in a business suit. Most of the tigers are upright on two feet, holding their partner or dancing freestyle. There are clouds of vapor and bubbles that float in the air. We can see glittering music wafting across the image. On the ground are a few spheres and dice. Written in the music we read « L.E.A.R.N.I.N.G. T.O. D.A.N.C.E. W.I.T.H. T.H.E. » and in the bubbles maneaters

Patriarchy is Burning

Patriarchy is Burning
Planet Mars

Gang of Witches 2019 art festival

There will be a concert, a performance art festival, a book release, paintings, installations, our video clip and a record release party.

14h to midnight the 15th and 16th of June 2019

Yoyo-Palais de Tokyo

13 avenue du Président Wilson, 16ème Paris……

Metro Iéna line 9…….

Free admission

Artists:

Émilie Jouvet (photography, film)

Rebecca Chaillon (performance)

Scarlett Coten (photography)

Ciou (painting)

Sunny Buick (painting, performance)

Miikka Lommi (video)

Mina Mond (painting)

Vivien Bertin (photography)

Paola Hivelin (sculpture)

Arôm (installation)

Louis(e) de Ville (performance)

Gang of Witches (concert)

Amélie Poulain (dance)

Son Of A Pitch (dj)

Sophie Rokh (reading)

Sabrine Kasbaoui (film)

Funmilola Fagbamila (performance)

Julie Atlas Ruiz (performance)

Contact Press:

Pierre Laporte, Samira Chabri, Tiphaine Dupeyrat 0145231414 info@pierre-laporte.com

In this year’s edition I made some portraits of my friends in Gang of Witches. They are watercolor, inspired by some work I’ve done in the past. Portrait work is hard!!! It’s hard to capture all that you see in the person, also to make it ressemble them.

I’m excited about our show, I’m doing a huge painting and I will have a performance related to my painting. Please come if you are in Paris June 15th and 16th. I will be sending the invitation by email soon, if you want to see the press release and program, please send me an email.

Website

Debriefing: Exposition Gang of Witches 2018 Venus’ Revolution

It was a wild ride this year.

Venus’ Revolution, the symbol for woman and the feminist movement, the planet, the goddess. So many strong feelings around this subject.

This year I just had one painting, plus the small installation of banners with angry little messages. I was chuckling to myself as I finished them. It is so typical of me that even when the words are furious, the image is all pink and pretty.

Here’s the artist’s statement about the painting:

Bougainville discovered Polynesia when he arrived in Tahiti in 1768. Returning home enchanted by this island paradise, populated by topless tattooed women who could freely choose their sexual partners, offering themselves to the foreign sailors, whom they beleived to be gods.

With their readymade garden of Eden myth and the disobedient Eve, the returning explorers started a campain to convince the authorities of the need to convert this «savage» population to Christianity, cover their nudity and destroy their pagan idols. We know their real purpose was to exploit the natural ressources and create a port of call. They used shame as a psychological domination technique, as it is still used in our capitalist, narcissistic societies today.

This work, Retribution Ritual, is a feminist revenge fantasy of the oppressed; a Wahinis’ revolution, where they have realized early on that their innocence and generosity have been abused, which leads them to return the violence they have suffered and become the perpetrators, offering the heads of their enemies to the Tiki idol, symbolically dismantling patriarchy.

A closeup:

Some of the banners:

Some information about the event:

 

⭐️GANG OF WITCHES ⭐️
Espace Léon Cœur
3, rue Portefoin 3eme Paris

Release of our 2018 Book: Venus 220 Pages limited edition 300 copies

 

Exposition « Venus’ révolution »

ARTISTS:
• Paola Hivelin – Visions – Peinture & sculpture • Melanie Torok – Wake Up – Photos • Sunny Buick – Retribution Ritual – Installation • Ciou – Éléments – Paintings • Sandrine Elberg – Yuki-Onna – Photos •Mina Mond – HAX – Painting •Lorenzo – Without Anything, But This – Photos •Frédéric Betsch – à l’ombre des containers – Photos •Vivien Bertin – Iceland – Photos •Julie Atlas Muz –Venus – Performance •Émilie Jouvet – My Body My Rules – Film •Aymeric Bergadat du Cadet – Icône – Photo

 

⭐️PROGRAM for 24, May, 2018⭐️
GOW We Are Gang of Witches – Music performance

Mikka Lommi –We are gang of Witches – Video Clip

Tattoo booth with flash created for the event

Julie Atlas Muz –Venus – Performance

 

Most photos by Yohann Cordell

Photo by www.instagram.com/@vOrace_cina.bela

Photo by www.instagram.com/@vOrace_cina.bela

Photo by www.instagram.com/@vOrace_cina.bela

Photo by www.instagram.com/@vOrace_cina.bela

Beaux Arts Magzine came to film the event!! We are so happy with the results, thanks Beaux Arts!

I recently painted a book cover for a local artist, it’s called Chansons Cachées. The author came by and did this interview with me.

Thank you so much to the team who put this together and all my friends who made it out for the party. See you next year!

Pour les francophones: Un texte sur mon tableau

Bougainville a découvert la Polynésie en arrivant à Tahiti en 1768. Il est rentré chez lui enchanté par cette île paradisiaque, peuplée de femmes tatouées aux seins nus qui, libres de choisir leurs partenaires sexuels, s’offrirent aux marins, qu’elle prirent pour des dieux. Aveuglés par le mythe du jardin d’Éden et son Ève désobéissante, à leur retour, les explorateurs commencèrent une campagne visant à convaincre les autorités de la nécessite de convertir cette population de « sauvages » au christianisme, de couvrir leur nudité et de brûler leurs idoles païennes. Il va sans dire que leur but était d’exploiter les ressources naturelles et de soumettre la population. Ils utilisèrent la honte de soi comme technique de domination, comme continuent de le faire nos sociétés capitalistes et perverses aujourd’hui. Ce travail, Retribution Ritual, est un fantasme féministe de revanche des opprimées, une révolution des Vahinés où elles réalisent que leur innocence et leur générosité ont été abusées. Elles retournent donc la violence contre leurs agresseurs, offrant leurs têtes coupées à leur idole Tiki, décapitant symboliquement le patriarcat.

Exposition Gang of Witches in Paris

GANG OF WITCHES http://www.gangofwitches.com

ÉDITION Un ouvrage précieux en série limitée à 300 exemplaires Une version numérique en téléchargement libre dès juillet 2018

EXPOSITION 2018 VENUS’ REVOLUTION

GANG OF WITCHES Peinture, littérature, photographie, vidéo, performance

PAOLA HIVELIN | SOPHIE NOËL MÉLANIE TÖRÖK | SUNNY BUICK

SANDRINE ELBERG | CIOU | MINA MOND LORENZÖ | FRÉDÉRIC BETSCH | VIVIEN BERTIN

ÉMILIE JOUVET | AYMERIC BERGADA DU CADET

LANCEMENT DE L’ÉDITION, VERNISSAGE & PERFORMANCES

GANG OF WITCHES, live | JULIE ATLAS MUZ, performance

Le Jeudi 24 mai 2018 De 19h à 22H30 Espace Léon Cœur Marais 3, rue Portefoin 75003 Paris

Exposition du 25 mai au 2 juin 2018

MUSIQUE Inclus dans l’édition papier, le 45 tours « We are Gang Of Witches » En écoute libre sur SoundCloud dès avril 2018 Video clip par MIIKKA LOMMI

« C’est à travers le prisme mythologique et archétypal des corps célestes que les créations de GANG OF WITCHES questionnent le monde.

Après une Édition-pilote dédiée à la Lune en 2017, GANG OF WITCHES déroule un fil rouge astronomique, et continue son exploration symbolique du système solaire. Cette année, nous convoquons Vénus.

Au rythme d’un balancement entre esprit conscient et inconscient, entre réalité et archétypes, l’Édition 2018 de GANG OF WITCHES, « VENUS’ REVOLUTION », se déroule telle un conte initiatique qui invite à la connaissance et à l’amour de soi, et au respect de l’autre, humain, animal ou végétal.

GANG OF WITCHES s’arme d’art et d’amour pour célébrer une féminité puissante, singulière et affranchie du sexe biologique. Nous abordons également les limites de la structure patriarcale et capitaliste de nos sociétés sur-consommatrices, la restriction exponentielle des libertés individuelles, les progrès techniques décorrélés des besoins réels des populations, et l’urgence écologique. »

CONTACT PRESSE | MURIEL MARASTI |+33 (0)6 17 36 26 08 | contact@mmartproject.com

Big Art Show Last June

Last fall with some kick ass women friends, we decided to start a collective. We wrote a manifesto, which you can read below. We want to pool our resources to promote and encourage each other and we also want to do projects together. Below you can read our manifesto:

W.I.T.C.H.

Women (and friends) Interdisciplinary and Transcendent Creative Heaven

 

The night of the full moon october 2016 in Paris, the artistic collective W.I.T.C.H. was born. The five founding memebers are Sunny Buick (tattoo artist, painter), Paola Hivelin (artist), Sophie Noël-Saton (musician, writer), LaBaronne O (photographer) and Lina Prokofieff (photographer), citizens of the world, warriors of the light, impossible dreamers. They turn naturally to the architype of the sorceress to baptize their new circle. Independent and powerful, often timid sometimes mocked, always with a halo of mystery, the witch is the master of her identity. Her image marks the place of women in society and of their combats of each era. Since the 1960’s she is a feminist icon, an ecologist, anti-capitalist, and the ideal symbol for the artists of W.I.T.C.H. feminine intitative (yet open to men) and community for a conscious awakening to the ecology is an urgent matter. The collective arises in a context of uniformity of thought, against mass culture empty of sense and oriented only for profit and distraction, a major ecological crisis, maintain a climate of fear of dispair and obscurantism.

Art is a vital necessity for these five women. They are in an insessant quest of their own selves, of meaning, of harmony and of the absolute. All emotions, actions, events constitutes the raw material of their creations. An ordeal becomes an initiation. An intention transforms into a magic formula. A repeated gesture evolves into ritual. A meeting changes into a celebration. Then begins the alchemic work: melanging a glitter powder, some mirroirs and some pigments, tattooing a story under the skin, using of ancestral symbols, producing music of celestial sounds, a symphony of words or taming light through photography. These are their tools of sublimation and the revelation of the invisible, the inexpressible. They give themselves over to a creation organic and spiritual through a mysterious process, between trance and relentless perfectionism, cultivating their paradoxes and welcoming in themselves the opposing forces of existance.

The collective is united by the desire to restore the essential link between art and sacred, the sacred and forces of nature. Their major objective is to establish a protected space for reflection, exchange and creation, a bubble undisturbed by any productive constraints, rich in singular propositions, fertil, powerful, far from stereotypes. The wish to develope automous networks and alternative diffusions, notably through a seasonal revue, Gang of Witches, which has for a mission to promote the collective’s philosophy, as well as artists, researchers and thinkers that are resonating with such.

This gang of “good witches” is situated at the frontier of the material and spiritual sphere, of the visible and invisible, conscious and un conscious, of humor and revolt, of resistance and resiliance. They voyage from one to the other, united and nyctalope, creating points of convergance, opening portals, bringing out the beauty of the world.

Please click to continue and see some photos from opening night:

(more…)

LANCEMENT et VERNISSAGES / Launch and Art Openings W.I.T.C.H.

GANG OF WITCHES Full moon party 9/6/2017 from Periscope on Vimeo.

⭐️ GANG OF WITCHES ⭐️
9 juin 19h a 23h
23 rue Basfroi 11eme Paris
LANCEMENT de l’Edition 2017: Objectif lune
Livre d’artistes en série limitée et numérotée

⭐️ VERNISSAGES ⭐️
• Paola Hivelin – Visions – Peinture & sculpture
• Lina Prokofieff – Possession – Photographie
• Sunny Buick – Poupées Foraines – Peinture
• LaBaronne O – Collaboration photographique

⭐️ PROGRAMME DE LA SOIREE ⭐️
Sophie Noël & Aude Halary Récital baroque 21h
House Of Drama Performance 22h
Deejays SOAP & Simone Bassline
Tattoo booth avec un flash créé pour l’événement

> CONTACT PRESSE
> Muriel Marasti
> +33 (0)6 17 36 26 08
> contact@mmartproject.com

Après le vernissage la galerie sera ouvert à 12h à 20h le 10 au 16 juin

W.I.T.C.H.

LOGOWITCHsmall

W.I.T.C.H.

Women (and friends) Interdisciplinary and Transcendent Creative Heaven

 

The night of the full moon october 2016 in Paris, the artistic collective W.I.T.C.H. was born. The five founding memebers are Sunny Buick (tattoo artist, painter), Paola Hivelin (artist), Sophie Noël-Saton (musician, writer), LaBaronne O (photographer) and Lina Prokofieff (photographer), citizens of the world, warriors of the light, impossible dreamers. They turn naturally to the architype of the sorceress to baptize their new circle. Independent and powerful, often timid sometimes mocked, always with a halo of mystery, the witch is the master of her identity. Her image marks the place of women in society and of their combats of each era. Since the 1960’s she is a feminist icon, an ecologist, anti-capitalist, and the ideal symbol for the artists of W.I.T.C.H. feminine intitative (yet open to men) and community for a conscious awakening to the ecology is an urgent matter. The collective arises in a context of uniformity of thought, against mass culture empty of sense and oriented only for profit and distraction, a major ecological crisis, maintain a climate of fear of dispair and obscurantism.

Art is a vital necessity for these five women. They are in an insessant quest of their own selves, of meaning, of harmony and of the absolute. All emotions, actions, events constitutes the raw material of their creations. An ordeal becomes an initiation. An intention transforms into a magic formula. A repeated gesture evolves into ritual. A meeting changes into a celebration. Then begins the alchemic work: melanging a glitter powder, some mirroirs and some pigments, tattooing a story under the skin, using of ancestral symbols, producing music of celestial sounds, a symphony of words or taming light through photography. These are their tools of sublimation and the revelation of the invisible, the inexpressible. They give themselves over to a creation organic and spiritual through a mysterious process, between trance and relentless perfectionism, cultivating their paradoxes and welcoming in themselves the opposing forces of existance.

The collective is united by the desire to restore the essential link between art and sacred, the sacred and forces of nature. Their major objective is to establish a protected space for reflection, exchange and creation, a bubble undisturbed by any productive constraints, rich in singular propositions, fertil, powerful, far from stereotypes. The wish to develope automous networks and alternative diffusions, notably through a seasonal revue, Gang of Witches, which has for a mission to promote the collective’s philosophy, as well as artists, researchers and thinkers that are resonating with such.

This gang of “good witches” is situated at the frontier of the material and spiritual sphere, of the visible and invisible, conscious and un conscious, of humor and revolt, of resistance and resiliance. They voyage from one to the other, united and nyctalope, creating points of convergance, opening portals, bringing out the beauty of the world.

 

Online Gallery

artjaws

The folks at Hey! art magazine have created a new online gallery. I have the honor of being invited to the first show, featuring well known tattoo artists from all over the world. You can find my portfolio here.