Sensual Articulations of the Disturbing

Although briefly deemed flash-in-the-pan, the work of Inka Essenhigh has recently reemerged as a powerful, mature, and enduring series of creations. Eight paintings, each in Essenhigh’s stylistic “Art-Nouveau-meets-biomorphic-Surrealism-meets-Japanimation,” transform the events of everyday life into sensual, exaggerated forms emboldened by undercurrents of horrific deformity and violence. Screaming Victim offers up cartoon-esq depictions of various body parts–anatomy that is both beautiful in its clarity of line and monstrous in its subtle subject matter. However, not all of Essenhigh’s works adhere to a formula of oil paint and violence; Romantic Painting breathes life into a single bodied, two-headed organic sea-being–“an act of coitus no mortal has ever experienced.” Inka Essenghigh’s smooth articulations of the erotic and horrific provide images not likely to settle back into oblivion.


Art In America: April 2003 Vol. 9

Issue 4


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