Liz Markus's Glam Irreverence

Liz and I in her Brooklyn studio with Slim Keith 1 and 2 and Marella Agnelli behind us.  All pictures by Black Dot Creative.  

Liz Markus has explored American culture from a variety of angles, giving each of her pieces her own irreverent spin.  Her technique, which starts with unprimed raw canvases where she quickly and viscerally uses acrylic to paint high-profile women, men, interiors or combinations of abstract shapes and graphic typography, has interestingly taken her to create unorthodox pairings such as Star Wars characters made with hot pinks and sweet greens, colors that belong more to a Lilly Pulitzer store than to a George Lucas film set. But Liz can get away with it because she is intently drawing elements from art history and the pop era (Warhol and Basquiat influence her work) while validly taking a closer look at fragments of the cultural phenomena that has shaped the history of this country, whether it is a rock star or a fashion icon. 

Liz and her canvases: from left - "Model 3"; "Babe Paley 2" and "Lee Radziwill in Lanvin"

For her latest show which took place at Nathalie Karg Gallery and was aptly named "Town & Country" Liz gathered in her canvases a group of prominent socialites who not only managed to look fabulous and attend extravagant parties but who also used their powerful positions and connections to build businesses, become cultural icons and advance their own agendas in every possible way. 

If it were not to be for this exhibit and Liz's creativity these iconic women would have never been in the same room together in a standstill moment, looking their best at that precious thirty-something age: From Marela Agnelli (who is featured this month in Vanity Fair) to Lee Radziwill including also C.Z. Guest and Aerin Lauder, they all share the same element: the genius of Markus's rapid strokes, washes and drips and her intuitive use of color which is finely calibrated and luring to the eye. Also, their shapes and silhouettes are a bit smudged, a bit blurry, it's clear that the depth and intent of these paintings is showing us more, perhaps an inner glimpse that tells us that the lives of these women is far from the perfect facade that has been portrayed. 

Liz has had multiple solo shows around the world, has released two beautiful prints with Exhibition A and is also working with Plumb, a company that develops luxurious notebooks with contemporary artists. Liz is creating three different models with them and they will be released in the Spring of 2015: "Hot Rod Journal" which will incorporate images of her Gulf Ford GT paintings, "LA Glam Sketchbook" with Liz's hippie paintings outside and smog colored pages inside, and "Fabulous Book" which juxtaposes the socialites with a sporty "Volkswagen seat" leather cover. There's also a coffee table book on the cards, which will give people some insight into where Liz's work comes from and show the cohesion that exists between bodies of work. I'm only grateful for the wonderful visit and will keep my eye on everything that Liz does, because as usual, it will be glamorously enticing, gripping and impossibly fabulous.