Those little postcards that you find by a stack newspapers or corralled into a now defunct brochure holder on your way out of a store almost always go overlooked. I try to take a few that catch my eye and look them up if they are still fresh on my mind when I am in front of a computer. I grabbed one last week that had some realistic looking sexy women who were also bunnies and also had other animal friends or something. It was colorful and quite realistic looking and I kept finding it in my notebook and telling myself, “I need to look this person up.” Well, I did and the artist is local Matthew Bone who has a little show up at La Luz de Jesus, entitled Paradise Lost.
Surprisingly and unsurprisingly, his show is nothing like the postcard nor does it even include the bunny ladies I was previously intrigued by. Instead, Bone’s subjects are the intersect of sexy women and popular “nerd” culture, which sees girls doing things from sucking on action figures to posing provocatively with Star Wars toys. He has a very acute eye for detail for both realistic portraiture and the cartoons and fantasy figures he honors as well. A good example of that is his painting Rise Of The Dark Phoenix directly below, where both the woman and the comic book bed sheets she lies on are both remarkably good looking.
Bone’s gaze is definitely one that is objectifying but, like the nerdy creatures he clashes with sexy imagery, they are fantasies: the sexiest of women doing the sexiest of things all with the sacred objects a comic book boy holds dearest. It’s like you walked into the mind of whoever you think of when you think hear the word “Trekkie” or the phrase “He’s the guy who reads a lot of Tolkien” or “Yeah, that LARPer guy”: these are really, really nice looking painted fanboy fictions. All of this comes as no surprise from reading Bone’s little bio, which details his being raised in LA on a “diet of comic books, horror movies, and porn.”
Paradise Lost is up at La Luz through February 26.