An upcoming art exhibit at the Newport Beach Public Library mixes fairytale imagery and classic film noir style for a unique take on a number of well-known stories.
“Fairy Tales,” an exhibition of oil paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass, will be on display in the gallery at the NBPL central branch during library operating hours from March through May 8.
The Newport Beach City Arts Commission is presenting the show, which combines pop imagery and classic noir iconography, library officials wrote in an announcement.
Inspired by 1950s era advertising, Mendelsohn-Bass evokes a classic film noir feel and its emotive German expressionist roots, the message reads.
“She draws the viewer into an enticing world, only to find all is not as it appears,” officials wrote. “Her work takes the viewer on a journey through the word of superficial reality where artificially alluring and nostalgically innocent context marks darker thoughts, ideas and actions.”
Art in the “Fairy Tales” collection includes her take on Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, The Princess and the Pea(s), The Princess and the Frog, and more.
“Playing with the visual tropes of mass marketing and vintage advertisements, her work explores the ways reality is obscured when presented as ostensibly attractive,” the announcement explains.
Mendelsohn-Bass’ artist statement points out the juxtaposition of symbolic and stylized iconic imagery with high emotional content in her artwork.
“The mystery and drama of noir is retained while swapping the dark urban landscape of Hollywood classic films for bright colors and a façade of beautiful perfection,” she wrote. “But beware, the Big Bad Wolf could be lurking in the shadows.”
Mendelsohn-Bass received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles.