As an artist, Lande experienced an epiphany of sorts while watching Erich von Stroheim’s mutilated silent classic, Queen Kelly (1929). Like von Stroheim’s films and Queen Kelly in particular, Stacy Lande’s paintings exist on the border between Expressionism’s emotionalized stylization and noir’s jaundiced hyperrealism. Lande’s portraits are highly detailed, highly textural. She achieves her textures
Conceptually, Lande draws inspiration from Bram Dijkstra’s book, Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siecle Culture (Oxford University Press, 1988): “It’s all about this Victorian obsession with voluptuous, allegorical evil women who suck the lifeblood out of men in the late 19th century.” (The predecessors of noir’s femmes fatales.) “What I do is take modern people I work with and plug them into these allegorical, mythological roles.”
Salome, pictured above left, is typical of Lande’s work, reimagining an L.A. nightclub grrrl as Salome holding the head of John the Baptist.
Lande has a wicked sense of humor. Her portrait of me, above right, is titled Fire King, which could refer to some ancient demigod, but – as Lande points out – could also be the name for a brand of charcoal!