Sean Horton (Presents) hosts Super Happy, the debut solo exhibition of paintings by Amalia Angulo. Angulo’s colorful works interrogate the seemingly perfect aspects of 1950s graphic aesthetics through a series of eerily stylized faces and doll-like figures. Using exaggerated facial features and sexualized body forms, Angulo’s subjects confront us with unsettling wide-eyed gazes and stiff smiles, that suggest something disquieting hidden behind each grin.
In My Beautiful Girl, 2022, Angulo masterfully treads between idyllic and unsettling atmospheres. A couple displays an affectionate exchange against a bright blue sky covered with fluffy clouds and a green landscape. The woman’s hyper-blushed face gazes lifelessly toward the viewer while her partner’s swollen hand and claw-like fingernails comb through her hair. Accentuating color and light, Angulo hyperbolizes human physiques, often referencing sexual imagery through bulging contours, flushed skin, and dewy surfaces.
In reference to the feelings embedded in her works, Angulo explains, “ads and other graphic publications of [the 1950s] reflect perfectly the feeling I am conveying and I look for reference in almost everything related to these years, from Marilyn Monroe to candy and other food advertisements. Everything looks so pretty and perfect, bright colors, everybody is smiling, all the clothing looks perfectly tailored…and what scares me the most is what hides behind the perfect smile.”
Angulo’s artistic practice gives priority to drawing, she views her paintings as added dimensions to the lines conceived on paper. As a graphic novel enthusiast, Angulo often translates the artistic conventions of graphic novels and comic art into her works.
Amalia Angulo (b. 1980, Havana, CU) lives and works in Hudson, NY. The artist received a Fine Arts degree from Altos de Chavón School of Design Parsons, DO. She recently completed a residency at Hudson House where she had a solo exhibition titled Happy. Her work has also been featured in exhibitions at Casa de Teatro and Nader Gallery, Santo Domingo, DO.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)