Art escapes: Goddesses of action moving into your space
Working with the female form as his muse, Mango’s most recent series presents women as powerful forces of feeling, with limbs twisting and swirling inside and on top of the border’s edges. Instead of being simplified, these women are glorified, celebrated, and admired – each one embodying an entire sensibility. Their arms and legs curve into distinct postures that transform each piece into the goddess of her action:
|“Drumming Her Fingers,” 2012
Oil on canvas over sculpted foam.
A swirling body painted in matching swirls of orange, she sits on bronze stool with her ankles daintily crossed, leg joined with a hip that spirals up into the two small circles of her chest. Her body keeps twisting up into arms and a bronze head – her right arm disjointed and dropping down into fingers that tap restlessly on her leg. The attention on this arm leaves the whole rest of her body stacked on the right side, her abstracted torso looks like the face of a frowning man – left leg propped up to become his chin and cheek. She’s poised but waiting, with some impatience but with more grace.
|“Blue Dance,” oil on canvas over sculpted foam.
Her figure spirals out on a grey-orange-purple background that looks worn compared to her bright blue and white. These orange and purple shapes are sketched out in rough black outline, and her figure literally floats off its surface, crafted puzzle pieces of sculpted foam that float together, two legs that cross and a single arm that encircles her head above. Looking up, her hair glides down and springs up to create a space for the hand coming towards it, which creates a sort of compositional symmetry that matches her criss-crossed legs. Her form dances, embracing itself and the space it occupies, a space that becomes yours physically with her figure projecting inches from the background.
|“No Room for Doubt,” oil on canvas over sculpted foam.
She is absolutely absorbed in emotion, all her limbs motioning in the same direction as the kiss she’s blowing. The whole work is shiny, blue and green loops of metallic make up a background that leaves spaces for the wall behind to come through. Her hair is blown back into little casual curls in a bright shade of metallic blonde. The left shoulder looks like a cave shaped for her heart, a little spiral that projects itself forward like a megaphone disguised as her Adam’s apple. It calls out just like her kiss does, her toes curled with a hint of tense desire.
|“Girl with Trumpet,” 2012
Image courtesy of the artist.
These women work as goddesses of action, fully involving their environment by revealing the wall behind them and by physically coming into your space; relief sculptures of carefully shaped and colored foam that melt in the most organic way, merging into legs and arms and hearts that become a single, powerful action.
See more of Robert Mango’s work on his website here.