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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Abundant Beauty


Abundant Beauty
by Alice Simpson

Dolly Dimples, Thelma Baby, Baby Ruth, Nellie Jolly, and other fats Circus Folks "real life obsession with food was, as my obsession with clay, their deepest joy and passion for definition of their lives. Many of us, men and women, the struggle with "hunger", aspirations for the delights whether food, love, goods, control, power. Hunger, in all its forms metaphorical, is part of our staff and public conversation.

A little history

Whether we approve or disapprove, Cirque fat Folk were part of the history of entertainment. ABUNDANT BEAUTY, a series of sculpture, explores the hunger and problems of appearance and identity through images of these backgrounds, professional artists at a time when obesity was a sign of health and prosperity. Serendipitously found on the Internet, postcards, memories of circus and carnival margin, many photographed by Charles Eisenmann Frank Wendt and then from 1840 to 1930 inspire my clay portraits.

Unknown woman Baby Baby Ruth Thelma Dolly Dimples

"... The revelation of society a century ago, the circus women were exposed in a sexually titillating fashion and in erotically charged scenarios, while being charged (with a wink) as examples of purity unblemished and domesticity. " -- Wrote Dr. Janet Davis, "The Circus Age: Culture and Society Under the American Big Top", University of Texas.

Traveling carnivals, with Fat Folk under Freak Shows, provided a source of entertainment and reflects the values, fears and questions of society as a whole. When the circus came to town, people travelled miles by car or train to see clowns, trapeze artists and, to marvel at the exotic animals and terrifying and peer anomalies of nature, as Siamese twins, Mustached ladies and fat Folk.

Artists professionals like Dolly Dimples Geyer, "the most beautiful woman fat in the world," Baby Ruth Pontico, "one of the fattest women ever to appear in [Barnum & Bailey] circus" and Jollie Nellie Terrell, who appears in a cameo appearance in the film noir classic "Nightmare Alley" with Tyrone Power, are happily married. Interviews noted that they loved their work, the company they found refuge in a society of strict constraints and opportunities in the financial carnival .


Each of my sculptural works coil was built in white or brown sandstone, with an awareness of the delicate relationship of the hands and feet of body mass, the provocative nature of their poses and the spirit of expression. It was a sensual experience to turn huge juicy weapons, carving deeply dimpled elbows, thighs widely fashion with curves fat on muscles and persuade the distortion of each face, hidden in the middle of its multitude of chin.

On an unknown WOMEN BABY Thelma, Dolly Dimples and most other oxide rutile was brushed, cleaned and then, to accentuate and add an expression more complex. I carved mouth open to hear a voice of hunger in front fun. In accordance with my hand Artist books, texts, which I write obscure messages from hunger and nostalgia. At leather hard, articles are cut, dug in around a quarter of an inch thick and reassembled with slip. To capture the tinted photographs, a wash of acrylic color bleached barely identifies a dress, blouse, her hair before or after the firing of shoes. BABY RUTH portrait is a contrast between texture, tinted clay, the flatness of the fish sauce and gloss varnish to its bow.

Jolly Nellie Alice Dallas

The NELLIE Jollie, one of a series of terra cotta plates, with a sgrafitto technique,
drawing and text are scratched through a layer of slipping a fine pin tool.
DOLLY DOLLY alveoli cells teapot teapot
DOLLY dimples, a stoneware teapot nonfunctional is topped with a generous slice of cake and Fisheries has a cupcake glossy secreted in a surprise return plateau.

MADAME X on a stool velvet
Taming the ghosts
MADAME X ON A STOOL VELOURS work is one of the Muses - with its inspiration "to do" observed on a bus on Broadway. The expression on his hands echoes the acorns on the pillow, which seems to fly its vast. A Chippendale Ottoman middle of the 18th century Cabriole legs and recovery-and-ball feet, seems the perfect complement to his attitude. Although not a circus Fat Lady, tame the ghosts was inspired by a 1925 Folies Bergere hedging program. The text, "seeking to transcend his injuries tame by the ghosts of history", was chosen arbitrarily to review by Christopher Isherword in The New York Times.

Development works like URBAN BEAUTY PROPOSAL and abundant series was the antithesis of my first work as an illustrator and graphic designer, in collaboration with companies such as Estée Lauder, Revlon, Max Factor and Helena Rubinstein, as well as fashion magazines. Despite a lifetime of drawing and painting the figure, clay is a new medium. In this milieu, I discovered the joy of doing. I spent more than a dozen years the creation of Artist Books on dance, until 2003, when I literally dreamed of working in clay and woke up to this new orientation.

PROPOSAL URBAN, inspired by Hip Hop, this dream began. In the street WISE (aka Apollo) and the Three Graces, clay mythological gods and goddesses masquerade of the street. The Graces, Thalia, Euphrosyne, Aglaé, danced to the music of Apollo, symbol of all that is noble, beautiful and pure. He presided over banquets, dances, pleasure and other social events, and brought joy to gods and mortals. As the Muses, they have artists and poets with the ability to create works of art. Imagine the reunion of young jazz musician, who pose Thalia, (left figure) outside New York's Thalia Theater.

STREET WISE (aka Apollo) Three Graces

It seems quite clear that my leadership will continue to be in theatre, music, dance, artists and performances. As a daughter of a famous vaudeville dancer eccentric, the need to entertain seems to be part of my gene pool. In this area, I search for a darker, less conventional beauty, with major contradiction in the hope from time to time to challenge the acceptance of standards and comfort.
Alice Simpson

With an award-winning career in graphic design and illustration, Simpson teaches drawing, design and packaging at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) New York School of Visual Arts, NY, and Otis-Parsons, LA. She is the proud mother of three Grammy nominee Michael Simpson, music producer (DustBrothers). She lives in New York. Simpson works are exhibited internationally, in public and private collections, including:

* Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts - Jerome Robbins Dance Collection
* Lincoln Center Theater-Andre Bishop, Director
* The Victoria & Albert Museum
* Yale University
* Harvard University - Theater and Music Collection
* University of Dartmouth
* Stanford University

For more information: www.alicesimpson.com.

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