Recently, Cooperative Press released Ohio based artist, Arabella Proffer's latest book entitled The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa: The Art of Arabella Proffer. The book includes are over 40 portraits created between 2000 and 2011, their stories, family trees, map and more, as well as a foreword by Josh Geiser of Creep Machine and Paper Devil.
As a young punk, Arabella Proffer observed firsthand how important fashion was to groups that supposedly rejected being labeled. Their uniformed rebellion became commonplace; tattoos, piercings, bizarre hair colors... all have gone on to become high fashion. As a lover of Elizabethan portraiture, she wondered what it would have been like if the aristocracy of centuries past had taken to these fashions, looking rebellious, shocking, regal and grand all at once as a reminder of their legacy.
"To get a tattoo or piercing is expensive even in the modern age," says Proffer. "These would have been considered status symbols for only the very rich in centuries past, and thus, they'd want to flaunt them in their commissioned portraits. A king or queen would have had the biggest Mohawk and sleeve tattoos, that's how I imagine it. These are very tribal adornments, but if marketed as a luxury, you can bet the royal courts of Europe would have taken it to an extreme. I wanted to combine the ancestor worship perpetuated by noble families with my love of old portraiture and punk imagery."
To reserve your copy of The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa: The Art of Arabella Proffer, visit cooperativepress.com.