Rye Purvis wants to be sponsored by Chester Cheetah’s Flamin’ Hot Flavored Fries — and me, I wanted her on my website. As I inelegantly explain in the video above, the 20-something painter’s pinks, kitties and woman made of high fructose trash food spoke to me. About what, I didn’t really know — but any woman who sketches My Little Ponies making it rain has my aesthetic attention.
I first saw Purvis’ work in a 2012 Galeria de la Raza group show of young Native American artists. Less than a year later, we were building on a video short for AHDM4U (a project Purvis supported from the get). Me in my purple hair, Rye in her hot pink, chipping manicure and endless parade of hoodies, we threw around feminist theory in the Market Street studio she shares with two other artists, hung out with the teenage interns she works with in her day job at the Meridian Gallery youth program, drank beer. She made me want to learn how to skateboard.
The more I heard about her work, the more I liked it. “All theses goody-good foods… are very sexualized, sexually charged,” she said in a preview video we made for the one above. “On one hand you have Jessica Simpson selling a hamburger. But then on the other side, the next commercial is guilt-tripping females for eating, so they have to eat yogurt.”
It’s those kinds of mixed messages that Purvis sets to canvas. The result is the palette of Lisa Frank with inflections of Mac Dre, subtext by, I don’t know, TLC (make you feel so/damn unpretty).
But she’s gonna hate these comparisons, which is why I’m glad in the end, she tried her hand at editing — with some weigh-in from her control freak friend Caitlin — Merlin Jackson’s footage of one of our interviews, and assorted scenes of her going about her daily life. This video is Rye as she wants to be portrayed: with shout-outs, random cameos, self-deprecating humor, Illuminati pyramid-enforced anonymity, alla it.
It must have been a somewhat painful process. Purvis does is not one to toot her own horn, as much as she knows that a pro artist has to do it. She’s on my website now, so I hope that Chester Cheetah is out there somewhere, placing a call to the innovative new face (or, floating Illuminati pyramid, as the case may be) of his snack sticks.
— By Caitlin
Like Rye Purvis as much as we do? Wear her out