Co-founder of Elephant Stone Records and wife of scribe and former Dionysus Records / Orange Sky employee Ben Vendetta, Arabella Proffer creates figurative and surreal portraits of imaginary subjects using oil and linen or panel. Taking her art a step further she writes a bio about each of her charicters. Her “Ephemeral Antidotes” can be seen at San Francisco’s Articulated Gallery through the end of January.
Proffer’s current works explores “medical superstitions and practices of centuries past,” inspired by her battle with a rare and aggressive cancer. While being treated and going through surgery, Proffer wondered what it would have been like to have lived through the process during her favorite periods in art history.
“After having a section of my leg removed, I began researching medicine from the Middle Ages through the 18th century; this series was a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I’m going through is nothing compared to old remedies and techniques. My art and interests were in the way society lived in the past, but with emphasis on the defiant, glamorous, and eccentric — not daily strife. You could have been rich, important, or beautiful, but if sick, you would still receive brutal or worthless treatment” states Proffer.
Proffer’s bold, colorful and darkly themed art is inspired by punk rock, Elizabethan fashion, gothic divas, religious icons, and the decline of European aristocracy. Many of her paintings can be seen in her recently released book “The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa.”
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Proffer earned her BFA from California Institute of the Arts and currently resides and works in Cleveland, Ohio.
View all “Ephemoral Antidotes” images and bios here
See the show at
1681 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
“Skin of the Fox Cures the Pox” 16×20 oil on linen.
“Sawed” 16×20 oil on linen.