Les Cages: A Fractured Gaze | mirus gallery
april 5 - may 10, 2014
At first glance, the work of Sandra Chevrier tantalizes and threatens to tame with its utter surface seduction; almost luring one into a saccharine sweet comic-infused sleep before demanding your attention with the undulating force of it’s deeper message. Consumed in a moment by the undeniable beauty of Chevrier’s work, a closer inspection yields the menace of superficial illusion, revealing, in a sense, the darker truth at the heart of the work.
To be certain, Chevrier’s art demands to be dissected. Her collaged portraits are quite literally torn between the fantastical heroics and humor of comic books, and the harsher underlying tragedy of oppressed female identity. Chevrier depicts her female figures trapped inside society’s suffocating “Cages” of expectation; held captive by the limitations forced upon them by society and culture, and ultimately revealing how corrupt our perception of beauty has become. The comic book collages, at once anesthetizing and alluring, echo rather entertaining pop-art references that eventually bely the bitter irony that these females have been silenced, smothered, and even blinded by the very mechanisms that seduced us into their existence.
Chevrier’s collage technique, which frequently highlights epic battle scenes ripped from the pages of actual comic books, is applied rather haphazardly; yet it’s precisely this incongruous style of application (whereby fictional characters reach almost theatrical heights) that enhances the message of unrealistic pressures placed upon women in todays world, and perfectly satirizes the farce of celebrity and the vacuous nature of unattainable expectation and dream. _Tim Evans
Mirus Gallery, 540 Howard Street, San Francisco