The Pact | Loren Holland
Oil on canvas
24″ x 30″
Loren Holland’s new series, entitled “Bittersweet Harmony”, comprised of paintings and drawings is inspired by mythology, gothic literature, music and the coded mysteries of the occult, juxtaposed with contemporary and pop culture. Incorporating metaphysical and alchemical symbolism, this series attempts to subvert media stereotypes about the relationships between women and men of color—typically depicted as dysfunctional or violent. Whether traditional, passionate, innocent, symbiotic or antagonistic, these relationships are as diverse and complex as the people who comprise them.
Set against the picturesque backdrops of darkly silhouetted woods, murky lily pad swamps and misty meadows, this series challenges the belief that women of color are not typically associated with “Classical” beauty and are instead identified with the “exotic”, the sexually deviant or “otherness”. Additionally, It re-examines depictions of men of color. Frequently represented as hideous, sub-human beings, men of color are routinely portrayed by the media as innately savage, animalistic, destructive and criminal. Using symbolic associations, the works also focus on the lack of control people of color have over their own social representation, as well as the potential lack of control of their physical bodies due to low societal status, institutional racism and negative cultural perceptions.
With an emphasis on the dramatic and a hint of the macabre, this series was inspired by vivid imagery and twisted plot lines of 19th century gothic fiction and horror. Concepts central to this series are beauty, vulnerability, exposure, misconception, transformation, growth, decay, duality and balance.