On view for only a few more days at Last Rites Gallery is Natalie Shau's "Forgotten Heroines". This new body of work marks the artist's first solo show at the New York City gallery. As a digital artist, her method includes a photographic shoot followed by digital manipulation and painting. By combining the real with the staged, Shau's portraits of delicate yet fierce females capture the souls of real women layered by props, extravagant outfits, and vibrant colors enhanced by selective lighting. The artist "dresses" her subjects with an alter-ego, while still having an enticing vulnerability come through. "Forgotten Heroines" recognizes strong female figures of the past and present for their perseverance through all kinds of adversity. Shau's visually compelling figures convey dominance with a sensual touch of femininity that commands attention. The extensive detail in each work requires the viewer to patiently look closely as objects, colors, and the unexpected become apparent. Foggy backgrounds, tentacles for legs, eyeballs, slithering snakes, and birds camouflaging among lavish floral arrangements act as compliments to the women represented. These symbols and metaphorical references hint at what mythological character or legend is being portrayed. Rather than forgetting these powerfully rendered women, they are bound to leave a mental impression of what a heroine entails. To this day, the role of a woman continues to evolve. Shau aims to permeate the thought of heroism within all the roles a woman takes on, whether it be mother, wife, deity, activist, prophet, or catalyst.
Take a look at a few pictures of the opening night and Shau's pieces via the gallery.