Agape Charmani for Art-Sheep

Cleveland-based painter and author Arabella Proffer is an artist with a complex line of works. The juxtaposition of their vibrant colors and dark details create a series of scenes where the characters’ eccentric looks seem to match the pureness in their eyes. Punk Madonnas and amputated Venuses tell the story of the artist herself.

Her series Ephemeral Antidotes was inspired by her battle with cancer and her need to explore how diseases and medical alterations affected people in the past. In her own words she explains how no matter the social status and financial state, people received brutal treatment and had to undergo surgeries that would change their lives forever.

“After having a section of my leg removed, I began researching medicine from the Middle Ages through the 18th century; this series was a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I’m going through is nothing compared to old remedies and techniques. My past art and interests were focused in the way society lived in history, but with emphasis on the defiant, glamorous, and eccentric — not daily strife. You could have been rich, important, or beautiful, but if sick, you would still receive brutal or worthless treatment. While these subjects and their stories are of my own creation, the remedies and belief systems are based in historical fact. While some things have changed, others have not (aside from better anesthesia and sterilization) and it makes one wonder what we practice today in medicine that will be viewed as cruel and obscene to future generations,” she writes on her website.

Check out Proffer’s beautiful series, Ephemeral Antidotes, plus some more of her portraits and other works.

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