Reflections Through the Looking Glass: Glenn Arthur

On June 11, 2013 by Evan Senn

All my life I read fairy tales. I would stay up late at night and sneak out into the garden of my parents’ house and relive the fairy tales I read about when I was a child, dancing under the moonlight, as if invincible. Growing up, we moved around a lot, so my fairy tales and my toys kept me company while helping me be creative and play. When stumbling upon the Forever Fabled exhibition preparation of Glenn Arthur’s artwork via his instagram account @glennarthurart, I fell in love. As if looking into my very own estranged looking glass, Arthur was drawing my child-like world with the added aesthetics of my own inked skin, face, fairy tale obsessions and ever-changing hair… “He is drawing me,” I thought to myself.

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“Curiouser And Curiouser” – 20 x 24″ Acrylic on wood (2013)

Now, I’m sure that Mr. Arthur was not in fact drawing me–he doesn’t even know who I am–but it made me connect with his work so much that I now look onto his instagram, website, and facebook page on a regular basis. His work is provocative and rebellious. I anticipated the opening of the Forever Fabled exhibit at Thinkspace for months, seeing his progress through my looking glass, my excitement grew a mile with every new image posted. You can see the spirit and uniqueness and personalities in every character he was drawing. Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Goldy Locks, and my beloved Alice . . .

The poisoned roses, thorny and dripping with blood red paint to hide the cards’ mistakes, this bitch fuckin’ owns Wonderland. Confident and skeptical, Arthur’s Alice stands proud and curious, collecting mementos from her adventures, making frenemies with trouble-making cats and rabbits, his Alice twirls her perfect curls with nonchalance, while her junk-drawer tattoos touch on her life–full of adversity and struggle, while keeping prim and proper. She holds her rabbit close, keeping watch on the mysterious creature that keeps the time . . .

His Snow White has an air of mystique and rebellion that can’t be denied. Like a dark-haired temptress, she taunts and teases the ominous black creature who creeps in the darkness behind her, always lurking, never giving too much away. Arthur’s Snow White is a princess of fun, pouty and sensual, young and naïve, she reeks of youth–so much so, that the witch-queen can hardly resist her teasing seduction, and her playful giggle.“Go On, Have A Bite” – 20 x 24″ Acrylic on wood (2013)

I don’t know this man, Glenn Arthur, but a part of me wants to adorn him with gold leaf and watch him draw, giving the tingly feeling like when my mother would braid my hair . . . He draws as if he can see through my colored decorations and funny dress, and into my heart with his delicate and meticulous skill–reminding me of the instinctual nature of some artists. They do not have to try for greatness, it’s just in them, like blood. His work is not unlike Kelly Castillo, another favored Orange County artist, creating imagery that strikes a dagger into the heart of my subconscious, rendering me about one inch tall in person. I can’t imagine that there are too many others that feel this way, as I cradle myself, and convince my mind that there is only one of me in the world. But perhaps the truth about artists like Mr. Arthur will remain . . .perhaps it is more accurate to accuse him of being an mindful artist, on the same plain as I, sharing a cloak of similarity with me, keeping us warm and hiding our flaws in heavy, weighted blankets of warm youth and fairytale forgiveness. Reveling in the similarities between our subconscious’, our kismet spirits–as if I was one of those girls he painted, trapped on the wrong side of the looking glass, I look up to him for divine artworks and soulful intervention, as he knows my artistic soul . . . without knowing me.For more information on Glenn Arthur, check out his website at www.glennarthurart.com. To see the exhibit in person you can go to Thinkspace in Culver City at 6009 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232 or visit their website and see just how sold out the show really is: www.thinkspacegallery.com

 

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