Alison OK FrostOakland, CA
In my recent work, I paint watercolor scenes I have composed from “found” images from news sources, old magazines, snap shots and movie stills. Because watercolor is a medium often associated with picturesque landscapes, it is incongruous to use watercolor to portray these absurdly dystopic if commonplace images. The kitsch lightness of the watercolor tempers the dark scene rendered, while lending it a sentimental air.
In contemporary media culture, photo-journalistic scenes suggesting an end to life as we know it proliferate. Rather than try to reverse this, as a society we create illusions of control over our environment: such as airbags, water bottles and helicopter parenting. I am attracted to the monstrous or humorous appearance of masks and suits worn to keep people safe from their environment, as well as the beauty of destructive elements in nature such as fire and water.
The imagery I paint reflects a shared global experience of humanity’s effect on the planet and the inverse. My paintings highlight a resistance to the logical outgrowth of our destructive tendencies, while also shedding light on the vulnerability of these impulses. In this way, these paintings refer to a micro-apocalypse, and the ways in which the drive to insulate and self-destruct can manifest on a personal level.
Alison OK Frost was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She began her art training early, attending and graduating from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in 1996. She went on to get a BA in Art from UCLA and an MFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Frost currently lives and works in Oakland, CA. She has a studio in the Compound, a local artist-run gallery and workspace, where she curates the Artists’ Gallery. She is a 2011 Fellowship Award recipient at the Kala Art Institute. Before getting married in 2010, Frost showed under the name Alison Offill-Klein.