‘Beautiful and Damned’ is Pam’s third solo in London. It looks at the very beginning of the film era, silent movies and the roaring twenties.
The new movies stars in the Jazz Age were as F. Scott Fitzgerald described them, both“beautiful and damned”. Appearing glossy and carefree, attending speak easies, holding lavish parties and dabbling in the new hobbies of drinking in the prohibition times, smoking and dancing. But the new wealth in Hollywood had its dangers, and lives in the spotlight were often short. Suicide rates were high amongst the new rich actresses, and stars like
Lupe Velez famously drowned in her toilet, Olive Thomas, ‘the original flapper’ died of a mercury overdose, Carole Lombard died in a plane crash and Peg Entwistle jumped to her death off the H of the Hollywood sign.
The tragedy amongst the beauty is what has inspired this show, the sharp contrast between a blessed life and one that ends in scandal, hedonism or destitution.
Pam Glew is perhaps best known for her unique bleaching technique on fabric. She uses dye and bleach to deconstruct and distress vintage materials in her own breed of painting.
For the Beautiful and Damned series, the artist uses found materials from the 1920s and 1930s, utilising antiques for the first time. Each piece is deconstructed, dyed, and bleached many times until a portrait emerges from the cloth.
Antique botanical fabric ‘crewel work’ from 1930s, and American quilts from 1920s are all used in a similar way to the ‘flag series’ but in this series the materials are the oldest and most precious that the artist has ever used.
Flapper and actress. Her psychotic mother threatened Bow with a butcher knife when she found out her daughter was set for a movie career, when her mother hesitated, Bow fended her off and locked her up.
In 1944 Bow herself tried to commit suicide and was treated for chronic insomnia,schizophrenia with electroshock therapy.
Perhaps the most iconic silent movie star. He had significant scandal in his life, was accused of “abnormal, unnatural, perverted and degenerate sexual desires” by his second wife (she seems to have been referring to oral sex). Had affairs with most of his co-stars and married 4 times, fathered 12 children. 18 year-old Oona became his forth wife, when Charlie was 54.
BLACKALL STUDIOS, 73 Leonard Street, Shoredith, London, EC2A 4QS
PRIVATE VIEW • TUESDAY 24TH MAY • 6PM – 11PM
OPEN WEDNESDAY 25TH • SUNDAY 29TH MAY
Gallery Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (late night opening Thursday 26th May)
Full gallery press release here – Beautiful and Damned_PressRelease
The show is being presented by www.maugermodern.com