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Elisa Johns (American, b.1977)
LOT ID: 76057
Harlotry, 2005

Oil, on canvas
98 х 58 in. (248.92 x 147.32 cm.)
Other, Not inspected for signature
Lot description
Typical of Elisa Johns’ work, 'Harlotry' merges elements of fantasy and reality to create a plush, dreamlike world where desires are realized. Here, Johns’ verdant landscape of soft pinks, greens, and blues provides a surreal setting for the harlot protagonist. Exploring feminist themes of female empowerment and sexuality, Johns’ leading lady drags a lion through the scene by its mouth, while wearing high-heels, lingerie, and bright red lipstick.

Drawing on contemporary culture’s fixation on beauty, Elisa Johns (b.1977) extracts associated emblems and places them within the realm of fantasy, establishing a framework through which the reality of our urban climate can be escaped. Focusing on the people, places, and things of high-society, Johns poses them within richly painted romantic landscapes, highlighting and elevating the collective glamour and desire of the scene. Born in Los Angeles, CA, Johns earned a BA in 1999 from the University of California, San Diego and her MFA in 2004 from Claremont Graduate University. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout North America, with recent solo shows at Skew Gallery, Calgary, Canada (2010); Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, NY (2010); Walker Contemporary, Boston, MA (2009); and Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles, CA (2007).
Harlotry by Elisa Johns
  • Harlotry by Elisa Johns
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