Candy-Colored Paintings of Ferociously Erotic and Violent Women

"I don’t want my females to be props or ornaments—they’re active participants in their world with their own complex stories."

Los Angeles-based artist Kristen Liu-Wong has a background in illustration, lending to her graphic style of painting and use of patterns, color, and compositions. Her themes are influenced by the style of cartoons she watched as a child, Shunga (erotic Japanese art) and architecture. All of this is evident in her series featuring ferocious women engaged in acts of sex and violence — at times fantastical, absurd, and strange.

Battling it out in power struggles and celebrating their untamed femininity with abandon, Liu-Wong’s women reflect our own moral ambiguities and human impulses. What’s most exciting about the artist’s depiction of women is their raw realness. “I don’t want to perpetuate the image of that blank ideal of beauty,” Liu-Wong has stated. “And this is part of why it’s very important for me to explore sexuality and the female form in my art and become comfortable with sharing my own perspective about women as a woman. I don’t want my females to be props or ornaments—they’re active participants in their world with their own complex stories.”

The artist’s work is featured in an exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, opening this Saturday, September 23 through October 21.

©Kristen Liu-Wong, published with permission of Corey Helford Gallery