ARTIST SERIES

The artist writes: “Horror movies reflect the social anxieties of our time and are directly related to cultural preoccupations such as religious, social, and/or technological developments. With ‘Final Girls’ I focus on a slice of culture that played a major role in the zeitgeist of the time that I came of age: horror movies from the 70s and 80s. Using imagery from such films—and more specifically, the slasher movie subgenre—I make screen prints of iconic portraits of lead female roles, known in film theory as final girls. Generally portrayed as a virtuous, boyish-looking heroine often with a gender-ambiguous name, the typical final girl is the story’s sole survivor-narrator, whose hard-fought triumph over evil blurs gender lines. She not only survives, the final girl conquers her oppressor. A common narrative choice for slasher films is to manipulate the viewer initially to identify with the villain, later shifting its identification to the victim-hero. Considering this duality and shift in alliance from male to female, I print using two colors. Often the colors are so close in shade that each portrait mimics the experience of seeing in the dark or being blinded by light. In some cases, I use glow-in-the-dark ink as a base, and the image is revealed in the dark. Each print is then mounted to a museum box which has been painted with two more colors, transforming each from what normally would be considered a two-dimensional piece into a sculpture.”

Work by Daniel Handal

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