Friday, August 31, 2018

Kara English -True Fraudulent Iconology

October 4th to November 1st
Carillon Gallery
Reception October 4th 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Joe B. Rushing Performance Hall
Tarrant County College South Campus
5301 Campus Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76119

In a culture of high tech animated art in film, comics and literature, society makes new visual symbols and icons at a rapid pace.  An iconologist studies these visual images and symbols used in interpreting art. An iconoclast destroys and icon especially political or religious icons, attacking cherished beliefs or institutions. Neither of these terms correctly define Kara English’s work.  To this end the artist created a new definition, True Fraudulent Iconology. This is a combination of studying and appropriating icons while developing a continued meaning dependent on that first interpretation of the original works meaning.  The resulting art work does not have meaning without an understanding of that first icon.  The subsequent artwork is meant as pure satire with no disrespect intended to the original icon.

Mankind has a long history of anthropomorphic images in art including the Minotaur, a being with the head and tail of a bull and a human body, and Anubis, a deity with the body of a man and head of a jackal.  Today popular culture includes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mickey Mouse and Snoopy as a few well known anthropomorphic images. These images help contemporary man to take refuge in fantasy and derive hope, or at least relief in use of satire. This contemporary culture feeds the whimsy in English’s work. 

 As an eight year old with her first camera she began dressing her dog and cats in doll cloths and photographing her first anthropomorphic images. English has a degree in both Journalism and in Art, and using this combination she continued in this practice in the creation of children’s books. She began to examine cultural tendencies to dress and treat pets as children, and as toys.  The resulting images were of, “Teddy Bear, Mr. Theodore Bear”, a book about a West Highland Terrier puppy. In this creation English took and edited hundreds of photographs of dogs dressed as teddy bears in various childlike situations.  She still use many of these images in current works.  

On the Dogwalk by Monsieur Pas Manet

English began working with icons and satire by furthering Theodore Bear into a counterfeit world in the creation of an art blog about “Dr. Theodore Bear”.  Dr. Bear is a West Highland Terrier professor who paints, gives lectures and buys art by other dog artists who paint pictures of other dogs.  She continued to comment on art and famous artists in history through this blog working with contemporary and historic art icons.  Following Dr. Bear she began to counterfeit titles of great films as well as literature using these satirical possibilities with “Little Angel”, a dog librarian and “Tootsie Pop”, a gossip columnist and paparazzi.

Pekingese Waiting for Madame Butterfly by Pierre Poodle Rover

After creating more than one hundred of these images English began to look for ways to print and display this work. She choose mixed media, including a combination of digital printing with paint.  All of these images include digital art in some way.  Even works that are pure paintings that were designed digitally before they were painted.  So join with Kara English a world where the virtual is real and the real is fake.

Pure Little Pup by Green Tail Malays

View Biography 

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