Even after a visit to Miss Bugs’ boudoir at the Brooklynite Gallery in Bed-Stuy, it’s still rather hard to describe the artist. For one thing, the artist insisted that The Observer not describe her at all, outside of the female pronoun — this despite the fact that she is actually two people.
“We are two artists, who work together, to create this,” she explained gesturing to the work that surrounded her. She (or, the one speaking anyway) spoke in a courteous Bristol accent. There were works that combined stencil, silkscreen, collage, and Photoshop — nippled femme fatales, a triptych of “fuck you” slogans on scratchcards, and sinuous women with elephantine headpieces comprised of birds from M.C. Escher’s famous plane-filling motifs.
“She’s half-invisible, you can see the background,” Miss Bugs said, pointing to one of the figures with an M.C. Escher headpiece. “You go somewhere, you see something, you remember that face, you can kind of reconstruct a picture. It’s kind of ghostly, like warped figures. Memory plays tricks.”
Miss Bugs described the theme of the exhibit as “childhood-like memories fading in and out.” She achieved this effect by using the rich red damask wallpaper of the gallery in her artwork, so that bits and pieces of the figures faded into and became one with the wallpaper.
While waiting to be introduced to Miss Bugs we stood near a man in a cowboy hat, who, upon discovering that The Observer hailed from Ohio, proceeded to bellow, “O! H! I! O!” followed by, “I love ho’s! I love ho’s!”
There was a wrecked car in the backyard, which had been spliced in half to fit through the gallery door and then reassembled. Outside, an artist offered us his business card, taking out a pen and a wad of brown paper. He drew all his cards by hand, he said, “because I like to pass my energy.”
Miss Bugs spoke in a lilting voice and recalled the faces she cut from fashion magazines and Photoshopped into her portraits, “We hijack them. A lot of our work is just stolen from other artists and then patched together, that’s the idea.”
Her gallery of aggregated collages revealed that she also “stole” prolifically from the likes of Man Ray, Klimt, Takashi Murakami, Bansky, Leonardo De Vinci, and Stanley Kubrick, to name a few.
On our way out, we overheard a woman inquire, “Was the artist actually here?” Looking behind us, we caught a glimpse of Miss Bugs sitting on the steps of her own gallery, a casual observer in the crowd.
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