Here at BLoFISH we love art! We are lucky enough to have a storefront located in the heart of Louisville, and because of that we have a great opportunity to show off some local talent who may not otherwise be seen.
One of those creators is Emma Wagner, a 17 year old artist living in Louisville, KY. Her show “Circus of the Mind” is currently featured at our store in NULU. With inspiration from the likes of Shepard Fairey and Yayoi Kusama, her exceptional work goes right to the heart of social issues. Not shying away from tackling social issues in her artwork, Emma focuses on the mistreatment of humans and poverty in much of her work, including the vibrant “Circus of the Mind” series.
The series explores the idea of a world which has fallen into decadence and chaos, portrayed through the juxtaposition between the performers, the disillusioned high class, and the situations where they are placed. Throughout the series, the characters in the circus are treated poorly and are simply a means of entertainment for the high class.
Mirroring the ultra-wealthy of today’s world, the series also portrays “another side of the world in which the wealthy worship a dead king”. The high class are in a state of dissociation and live their lives disillusioned. Her series draws the attention to the mistreatment of those who are less fortunate and the ignorance of the wealthy and upper class who choose to deny the problem. All of this stems from the root issue: The world is ruled by a dead king. This shows a society led by an unfit ruler will eventually fall into decadence and chaos.
I adore this series. Taking elements from the real world and putting them in a series of less than 10 pieces and being able to tell a story is extremely powerful, and more importantly, a way to communicate the divide between the lower classes problems (hunger, lack of education, access to healthcare) of today versus the illusional problems of the wealthy many of us will never even think about (such as where to find the next designer dress a celebrity was wearing or what yacht they are looking to buy next). (The dead king could be a symbol for the extreme upper class worshiping money, a king that is ultimately not human or alive).
To me, the circus performers are a great parallel to the working middle class who over the past decade have used their talent and resources to enrich the lives of the ultra-wealthy of society. The work not only shows talent in the medium used, but also a clear way to tell a story through vibrant, expansive art.
You can check out more of Emma’s work on Instagram @e_m.w//
We focus on artists who may not have been seen other places or have had little exposure in the area. Hundreds of people make their way through the shop monthly, and many of those people will have the opportunity to see the work of artists they may not have otherwise seen. We have shows rotating monthly. If you are interested, shoot us an email or apply online at blofish.com