THE BREEDER
Iris van Dongen, Ed, 2008, charcoal pastel pencil on paper, 250x130 cm
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The sultry gazes and potent swagger of Iris van Dongen’s brooding temptresses beguile us with a style that combines the elegance of pre-raphealite painting with the stern glamour of film noir heroines. Wrapped in luxurious dresses that float on smoky clouds or emerge from dark forests, these mysterious ladies recall both in form and in style the allegorical heroines of symbolist painting. Don’t be mistaken though these femme fatales, depicted in richly hued pastel on paper, are as powerful as the dark forces that seek to torment them. Like the siren or sphinx of romantic convention, these works are allusions to that age-old riddle; the demons that torment us most cruelly are often those that lurk with in our own desires.