Art-A-Whirl Spotlight: Rudy Fig

You know Rudy Fig, right?

She’s sort of the local art scene’s Lisa Frank: color-overloaded, girly-cute to the point of terrifying, and capable of bringing a lurid, acid-trip evilness to imagery we might otherwise find acceptable for a seven-year-old’s school folder. The difference is that Lisa Frank isn’t doing this on purpose. Fig, on the other hand…well, yeah, she probably is.

Fig first caught our eye exactly four years ago. It was then that local art impresario Emma Berg discovered the young, self-taught artist—she was only 19 at the time—and hung a few of her paintings in a Fox Tax show during Art-A-Whirl 2008. The work was rotten-cavity sweet. Young girls, each a Bratz Doll vision of glossed lips, dotted beauty marks, and thin necks hugged by chokers, posed in pastel wonderlands of cupcakes and ice creams.

That would have been good on its own. Hyper-stylized girl fantasy. But the landscapes were riddled with hidden skulls. And the girls themselves were so sexualized they sometimes were totally nude. The paintings became perverse, incriminating.

Which makes them perfect for Rogue Buddha, a gallery synonymous with creepy paintings of haunting, thin-necked women. For this year’s Art-A-Whirl, Fig is filling the space with a solo show she’s calling “Galactic Garden Party.”  

Fig describes it as “a happy, rococo-hearted party that is constantly swelling in the back of my mind […] a cosmic world of high tea, fancy hats, frolicsome creatures and sugar coated space shenanigans.”

She seems to have gone easy on the dessert treats; on preview, there’s much less hot fudge and frosting. But they’re still sweet as diabetes.

Galactic Garden Party
Friday, May 18 through Saturday, June 16
Rogue Buddha, 357 13th Ave. NE, Mpls.