Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Reynolds's paintings of raw flesh, often set in ornate, rococo- or baroque-style frames, are unabashedly sumptuous and sensual (other media include digital imagery, drawing, sculpture, and music). Her work refers to the Venetian art of painting flesh, Dutch vanitas, kitchen and butcher stall scenes, divine sacrifice, and society’s use and sacrifice of animals. Victoria Reynolds exhibits her work internationally, and her work is represented in numerous collections. Recent solo exhibitions include “Drawn and Rendered” at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, California; “Carne Vale” at Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas; and “Rare and Well-Done (Blodig och Genomstekt)” at Galleri Ahnlund, Umeå, Sweden. Reynolds will discuss her works from the past ten years, highlighting those in Nine Lives.
Reynolds precise renderings of muscle and flayed meat are grotesque, but the delicacy and detailed structure urge a close — often forensic — inspection. ‘Reindeer Voluptuary’ presents an artefact of her time in Sweden from 1999-2002, having been invited to spectate and document the slaughter of reindeer by the indigenous Sami — the only people allowed to herd and breed the animal within the country — and invoke the tragedy and beauty of the process. The use of oil and a particularly soft palette of pinks, reds and whites gives the gore an unsettling but purveying sensuality. Reynolds is influenced by ‘divine’ sacrifices common in Baroque or Dutch masters, often conjured through the use of flesh or animal in still life.