SPECTRAL FIGURES BY GENIEVE FIGGIS

by Ariadna Zierold

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The paintings of Irish artist Genieve Figgis are possessed of a wicked, unmistakably Irish sense of humor. They ironize our attitudes to conspicuous wealth, land ownership, and social hierarchies by reimagining canonical paintings—commissioned to preserve the glory of their subjects—as nightmarish scenes, suggestive almost of depravity.

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Her scenes depicting bourgeois homes, traditional portraits, or landscapes are often haunted by spectral figures and leering creatures with canes and top hats. A sense of the charmingly macabre emerges from Figgis’ combination of an apparent pictorial banality with dreamlike qualities.

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