Pastel pink princess inside the snake’s den.
Inside artist Marcella Barceló’s Paris apartment lives a parallel world of colorful creatures that seem to come straight from a terrorific dream: a cigarette smoking spider, an abnormally large crow and an intimidating jellyfish. Despite their daunting appearance and native outdoor habitats, the painted characters don’t often have external exposure. Like some torpid creature that hibernates in caves, Marcella often spends weeks without going out of her live-work studio, where her work is produced in an atmosphere of darkness and isolation. The artist obstructs any natural light that enters the domestic space with pitch black curtains, enabling her to work for days through artificial glares. In addition, this dim setting enhances the painting’s supernatural colour palette exposing its viewers to a tantalizing adventure alongside kitsch references and surreal depictions made up of bright purple volcanoes and electric pink cocktail drinks. Through figurative representations of daily life moments, including a citrus being stripped with bare hands and an adolescent gently fitting in her socks, the artist captures very intimate, erotic bodily gestures. With the exception of her twister party friends that probably gather there in order to sneak-peek at the unusual beings, she is pretty much these characters’ sole company. Sensing a tender but tense mood, anticipated by the spilled paint, scattered books, beheaded dolls and running tap water as spotted in one of her canvases, her studio gives an enigmatic impression, whilst spellbind she performs a macabre birthing scene, materialized through painting.