Lauren Gibbs’ Glittering Luxury Nightmares

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There’s a fine line between opulent beauty and horrifying excess, best described by the word “decadent” and embodied in the work of Lauren Gibbes. The Asheville, North Carolina-based artist paints bright, sugary pictures of society ladies with foggy white space where their noses should be, pink lips kissing ostentatious jeweled rings, indulgently bountiful meals, and Dolly Parton — many embellished with glittering applications of colored diamond dust. While they’re undeniably pleasing to the eye, the images are also sickly sweet, the visual equivalent of getting a stomachache after eating too much candy (and then having to analyze how something so initially appetizing can become nauseating). Click through and be unsettled, then visit Gibbes’ website to see more of her strange and complex work.

Lauren Gibbes, The Seeker, 2008, oil and diamond dust on panel. Spotted via Beautiful/Decay

Lauren Gibbes, The Fortunate Power of Rosy Prediction II, 2007, oil and diamond dust on panel, 48″ x 24″ x 2″

Lauren Gibbes, Submission Control, 2007, oil and diamond dust on panel

Lauren Gibbes, The Fortunate Power of Rosy Prediction, 2007, oil and diamond dust on panel

Lauren Gibbes, Bounty, 2005, oil on panel, 27″ x 54″ x 4″

Lauren Gibbes, Hemlock and Rosewood, 2008, oil and diamond dust on panel

Lauren Gibbes, The Free One, 2009, oil on canvas over panel

Lauren Gibbes, The Fates, 2008, oil and diamond dust on panel

Lauren Gibbes, Cosmic Bounty, 2010, oil on canvas over panel, 24″ x 24″

Lauren Gibbes, The Warrior and the Maiden, 2006, oil and diamond dust on panel, 32″ x 48″ x 4″