Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kathryn Parker Almanas


Probably, and rather unfortunately, best known for one of the most epic tear-for-all breakdown appearances in reality show history during her short stay as contestant on Bravo's Work of Art, Kathryn Parker Almanas' portfolio is a study of real life health and medical horrors, freshly extracted and put on display for all the world to gawk at. It's the exact sort of fodder that fuels a haunt and horror enthusiasts wet dream.

One of the less visceral of 23 pieces in the "Juice of Life" photography collection

I remember actually turning away from the screen for a moment as they showed the sculptural, plascenta-like viscera as subject in her photography in the season premiere. The realism or even the hint at reality as portrayed in the photos got to me. Nothing gets to me like placenta. I can barely even type it without a shudder... But that's the exact sort of reaction art should induce and one that sticks with you, especially when you're a self-proclaimed slasher flick addict, who's used to our insides being on the outside. But that's a movie and this... it's as close to reality as you want to get. Tackling that curtain to make you see ("can you see? CAN YOU SEE?!") it makes you respect what the artist is doing. Mad props to Kathryn and her awesome glasses for making me cringe. For that reason I really wanted to see her do well in the competition, but alas, in the pressure cooker of art under the microscope of America, she didn't have a chance.

#1 in an untitled collection of selected collages from 2008-2010

Her work isn't all blood and guts and is actually quite diverse from what the show represented. A nice reprieve for vegan viewers and the faint of heart. Her toilet paper and floss collage is a fun and lite collection that reads as a Karma Sutra for Scott tissue (I wonder if they'd ever take THAT up as a commercial campaign? it's way better than "gee, this feels good against my....erm, face" haha) and the sterile, isolating desolation of Ex-Votos is a sickly sweet, still and quiet environment. As it is a newer collection dated post- Work of Art, I can only think of it as a representation of life after the fact. Like a crazy comfortable straight jacket built of icing and gauze....

For her full portfolio:

For a really excellent summation article of her work, and yes, her Work of art appearance go HERE

If you absolutely have to see her breakdown, google it.

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