2008 by Bonnie Gloris
Broadway Gallery, NYC until 15th July
Bonnie Gloris’s work is part of the Baby Doll exhibition at Broadway Gallery, an all female show presenting views of contemporary women. The work in the show ranges from painting and installation to drawing and jewellery, in a display of these women’s explorations of, often their own, femininity. Gloris’s work is obviously inspired by 50s pinups, mixing the sexuality of the Marilyn Monroe character with nudity, stereotypes and Marilyn’s contemporary, the 50s housewife. She has collages of these 50s women, nude but for the unmistakable pointed bra, dressed in female embodiments of a type — the ballerina, the biker-girl, a mermaid, all of course with the characteristic curvaceous bosom and miniature waist. The compositions come off as playful, fun and nostalgic in their stylistic approach, like dated posters and advertising, though not particularly poignant. Bright Idea is interesting though; painted, rather than the usual collages, we cannot quite tell whether Gloris seeks to be ironic. In its brightly coloured palette this light bulb wallpaper immediately brings to mind the high coloured advertisements of the home: perfectly made up woman stands in front of day-glow kitchen or living room. Yet the pattern is light bulbs, brilliant ideas, mirroring the symbol that erupts from the figure’s head. This, perhaps deliberately, is an energy saving bulb; perhaps aiming to bring these old ‘ideas’ into the present, or make a statement that things haven’t much changed. Either way it glows with a white and luminous purity, as our leading lady, all dark hair and red lips & nails, looks to the side at it coyly.