Description

Carol Wainio is interested in the narrative power of images. Drawing from widely diverse iconographic sources (19th-century satirical illustrations, children’s books, early advertisements, fairy tales), she approaches figuration through references to the past. The images she creates form allegorical tales peopled by animal-headed figures wearing profoundly human expressions. In Standing, a frock-coated lynx, head held high as if posing for a portrait, stands in front of a drill rig spurting a thick stream of oil. A hare, also in period garb, stands off to the side, as if waiting for the show to end before joining his companion. Meanwhile, wild birds with feathers patterned in what resembles the famous Louis Vuitton monogram peck the ground around the well, oblivious to the impending danger. Nothing identifies the represented site, surrounded by a decorative frame whose ornamentation dissolves into the figures’ space. While the clothing, the drill rig and the Vuitton-like floral motif recall the 19th century and early industrialization, the painting reflects very contemporary environmental concerns. J. B.