Isabella K. Losskarn's large-scale pastel drawings untangle the mess of gender representation in media
Isabella uses her highly detailed pastel scenes to redirect our energy towards real conversations about gender.
Isabella K. Losskarn’s drawings take subtle but scorching critiques to sublime heights. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, but currently living in Asheville, she’s taken to using her large-scale pastel drawings to examine the negligent handling of gender discourses in mass media. In her “absurd still-life scenarios”, the gaudy flourishes of colour and detail are a deceptively incisive critique of the “absurd and repercussive nature of gender representations”. By accentuating these elements, she says that her work “ventures into the nonsensical and often pushes beyond the boundaries of hyperrealism”.
Evidently, there’s a lot going on under the hood of each piece. On the surface, her process involves layering “colour extensively on textured paper and then blending it together using my gloved hands and soft blending tools”. And by grounding her work in the “representational” and using “familiar imagery of pop-culture items”, she finds that she can “access viewer’s attentions and direct it towards contemporary gender issues”. Consequently, each piece functions as a “paused, zoomed-in and hyperbolised moment that acts as metaphors for a larger conversation on gender”.
Isabella Losskarn: Sack Lunch (Copyright © Isabella Losskarn, 2020)
About the Author
Roz (he/him) joined It’s Nice That as editorial assistant in October 2022 after graduating from Magazine Journalism and Publishing at London College of Communication. He’s particularly interested in publications, archives and multi-media design. Feel free to get in contact with Roz about ideas you may have for stories from the Global South.