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Save Yourself, 2018 Laura Thipphawong, oil on canvas, 36x30"

Laura Thipphawong: The Beast in Me

March 29 - April 28, 2018

Coldstream Fine Art is pleased to present The Beast in Me, an exhibition of new work by Toronto-based painter Laura Thipphawong and her second show with the gallery. Informed by the late 19th century Symbolist movement, psychoanalytic theory and magical realism, Thipphawong’s surreal landscapes take the viewer through hallucinatory scenes peppered with evocative images drawn from nature and myth. At the same time, a coded narrative provides an undercurrent that encourages multiple readings of each canvas and of the series as a whole.

Motifs act as visual shorthand for a meditation on predation in human society and the psychological fallout thereof. Thipphawong engages with the nuances arising from our troubled relationship to consumption and its necessary violence, complicating our understanding of our position in the food chain—and in the spectrum of conscious beings. Established roles dissolve and mix with each other, and predators find themselves as prey, struggling to maintain themselves as subjects in a tangled cat’s cradle of hunting, chasing and submitting. Although we start off as the viewers, the paintings quickly begin to see right through us.

At the same time, the compositions are carefully arranged, bringing characters, objects and imaginaries into a delicate balance. Thipphawong’s gift is in creating tension in the stillness, hinting at rumblings immediately beneath. At any point, these arrangements that appear stable could collapse, inverting our understanding of what we know to be real and what we believe to be fantasy. The scenes confront us in this state of false comfort, imploring us to enter the world of dreams and nightmares, loosing the unrepressed surreal upon the familiar.


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After the Frenzy, 2018, Laura Thipphawong, oil on canvas, 60x36"

Artist Statement:

“A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism.” – Georges Bataille

There is a strategically pursuant nature to the ways in which people relate to one another. We are emotional predators and physical prey, chasing, luring, devouring and nourishing each other. Our roles as active and passive are always in negotiation, and these roles often exist simultaneously; or rather our position in either role is constantly oscillating. This series explores emblematic images of the hunt from a deconstructed perspective. From a survivalist, defensive, opportunistic, primal, and evolutionary point of view, these paintings represent human intimacy and the drive to mutually consume each other.

– Laura Thipphawong


About the Artist:

Laura Thipphawong is a Toronto-based artist, writer, and historian. She has exhibited art in group and solo shows in several Canadian galleries, and has presented her research and writing throughout various international academic forums. As a self-taught oil painter since the age of twelve, Laura made her way from small-town Northern Ontario to Toronto in order to pursue a career in the arts. She is a graduate and medal winner from OCAD University with a degree in Visual and Critical Studies, an interdisciplinary program that reflects her process of combining art making with intensive academic research, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Art History at the University of Toronto. Her work focuses on the critical theory of violence, sexuality and abject psychological elements in visual culture and folklore.


Contact info: Coldstream Fine Art, 80 Spadina Ave, Ste 208, info@coldstreamfineart.com, 647-401-6469

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Countless Little Deaths, 2018 Laura Thipphawong, oil on canvas 30x30"

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