Written by Carly Deblock
Beautiful women have inspired countless artists. From Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” to Boticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” women have played an important role as muses throughout the history of art. Jack Stricker continues this tradition in his two paintings “Sinister” and “Chaste” in his solo exhibition “Quality Control” currently on display at Thumbprint Gallery.
These paintings are a contemporary representation of ideal female beauty in our culture today. The women are both current with today’s idea of feminine beautiful. The artist’s unique twist on beauty lies in comparing two contrasting temperaments of women. “Sinister” is a gorgeous woman with a mysteriousness and fierce glance; while “Chaste” seduces the viewer with her innocence and openness.
A sultry woman peers out from behind her dark and flowing hair in “Sinister”. Her eyes and hair lead the viewer into the painting and this mysterious woman seems to have a secret behind her piercing glare. In contrast with the second painting, “Sinister” is definitely the woman that is up to no good. The woman is positioned on the left side of the circular wooden panel as she glances toward the viewer with her makeup covered eyes.
In comparison, “Chaste” has an inviting look of innocence. From the center of the painting, the woman gazes directly at the viewer in a welcoming manner. Her slight smile brings warmth to her expression and “Chaste” is asking the viewer to look at her. She seems to communicate a sense of virtue while also teasing the onlooker.
The strong style of these paintings emphasize the femininity and seduction of the women. The artist’s technique for the hair includes a stenciling of delicate lace, representing their feminine prowess and delicate features. The edges of the wooden panel are painted, one with black and one with white. The contrast of black and white furthers the juxtaposition of “Sinister” and “Chaste”. The medium used is spray-paint and oil paint, which both fuse together beautifully in the painting. The oil portraits capture the facial features of the women, emphasizing their flirtatious eyes, flawless makeup and pouty lips. A black outline around the image draws attention to the women and incorporates line-work to move the eye around the painting. These aspects of Stricker’s paintings work together to create a continued statement of female beauty.
“Sinister” and “Chaste” are just two paintings currently on display at Thumbprint Gallery. Other pieces in his solo show depict and utilize the world of animals, stencils, abstract shapes and graffiti. To see more of Stricker’s artwork visit Thumbprint Gallery on Kline Street in La Jolla. The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm.