Vile reptiles wrap themselves around demonic geisha warriors in this rambunctious series of paintings and wall murals by Bay Area street artist, Lauren YS. Her latest solo exhibition at Superchief Gallery in New York is titled MoonBurn in reference to what the gallery describes as a “state of metaphysical damage inflicted by unseen forces.” Lauren attempts to visualize imperceptible aches of the human condition through a band of demonic geisha-like characters intertwined with animated reptiles and other supernatural beasts.
Her subjects reveal the artist’s unmistakable affinity for Asian culture and manga illustration. Her barely human characters are depicted as over exaggerated caricatures within a comic strip style of painting reminiscent of Ed Roth’s Rat Fink cartoons. Wide swooping eye lids and other over pronounced facial features, sit upon the massive spherical heads of her characters. Lauren fills each canvas with a range of sour neon colors. Applying the kind of toxic green, hot pink, and yellow you would see a cartoon use in a villain's laboratory.
The show is described by Superchief as a personal body of work through illustration. Lauren riddles her paintings with symbolic imagery that subtly acknowledges her world experience and nomadic lifestyle. The characters represent a certain temporality or boundlessness that Lauren experiences herself, as an incessant traveler. She grounds this theme of a split-life in her work by blending Eastern and Western cultural themes; a nod to her Asian-American upbringing.
In this series Lauren focuses her artistic eye on depicting strong and unwavering women; a theme that Superchief suggests is consistent with her perspective as a rising female artist. Her female subjects appear to be calm and collected in the face of these brutal looking creatures.
The show also includes a special mural (see below) that Lauren made in collaboration with fellow street artist Nychos. A true match made in heaven, the painting distinctly captures both artist’s unique styles, creating something completely supernatural.