UGLY IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL
Chinese-Australian artist Louise Zhang’s work explore the concept of beauty and ugly, attraction and repulsion. Born in 1991, the multi-media artist states that it is mainly her interest for horror movies and her love for gore and particularly body horror that triggered the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol as her art form. She cites Cronenberg’s movies as the base her aesthetics: “Cronenberg believed if you aestheticize the ugly, it ceases to be ugly, […] that’s kind of what I base my practice on” (Check the visit of her studio on broadsheet)
This result in a work filled with paradoxes, associating hyper-saturated candy colors, and repulsive organic shapes. The ambivalence of her work is found within itself, on one side her sculptures shows drooling, dripping, bloody shapes that associates with death whereas her paintings tell a different story. Borrowing from both the Chinese traditional imagery and techniques, her paintings are abstract and attractive. The colors extend with delicacy and on the canvas and interact in perfect harmony with each other. There is a life from within that shines out of her paintings, giving us that “warm fuzzy feeling”, the one you get when eating ice cream watching Netflix on your sofa on Sundays; it is a weirdly comfortable unknown.
By playing with our instincts, Louise Zhang questions the very idea of beauty, opposing the concepts of appearance over substance. In a world obsessed with appearance and beauty, her works resonates as a, beautiful, yet scarily cynical testimony.