art by ellen greene

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Kansas born artist Ellen Greene lusciously soaks her large scale canvases deep into the vat of dark romance where anti-heroines battle demons both psychological and society inflicted. Revenge, crossed lovers, murder, position themselves against voluptuous female forms teeming with fecundity. But any softness or sentiment is washed away in the acid pop colors that burn our retinas with a pulp fiction intensity worthy of the nastiest, most taboo obsessed tattoo parlor, blaring Guns N Roses at the Spinal Tap level of "11". A fairly stable Midwestern upbringing seemed only to highlight Greene's fascination with stories of fallen ladies. Her thickly applied pigments delineate their mangled curves in a swirl of bleeding hearts, banners, and daggers straight out of the biker babe tradition. And yet within it all we see the fragility of life attempting to sustain itself in the cocooned fetuses and delicate thighs not yet stained. Alas, this Kansas road is lined with the detritus of a violent love that has run its course. The punch to the stomach is, of course, the realization that the life giving force and sincere intimacy was always potentially there, but now obliterated. What is left of these worn out whores and sluts is enshrined against a backdrop of crosses, fire and brimstone. A local tornado here and there reminds you that this is not Hell, but hell on earth. Greene wants you to taste this madness, not just observe it. Move on to some of her smaller creations and they will feel like a sip of sweet champagne after a lunch of tears and dirt. Here are meticulously ornamented women's, elbow length, leather gloves, their whiteness reminding us of long lost virginity. One is torn between the urge to adorn the limbs with their creamy softness or hide them under a glass curio cabinet as an object of rare wonder....