A seductress with an ominous edge whose vibrancy for life permeates the canvas, Niagara is the blood-and-flesh embodiment of the femme fatale.
Written by Ally Overbay
Well renowned punk rocker and front person of the iconic Destroy All Monsters (DAM) and Dark Carnival, Niagara spent her young adult years touring the Midwest and East Coast, hypno zing audiences with her signature undead stage persona. As Colin Berry describes, ”Niagara’s like Nico……but even worse….she’s Nico with a hangover and a BAD a tude. She’s a portentous cocktail of Valium, Tuinal and Nervine washed down with whiskey.” As of today, she has done concerts and art shows in all 50 states and in England, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Australia where she has done four 30 date tours.
Yet her early artistic endeavors never hinted a career in music, making her involvement — and large success — in the scene from the 70’s to 90’s the most idyllic way to spend 20 years doing something inadvertently. Niagara’s sister can recall her drawing and sketching as a child, before Niagara can even remember it herself. Her transition (or rather, return) to the visual arts after a two-decade-long escapade in the music scene, therefore, was anything but foreign. Having designed album covers and artwork during her time on tour and on stage, the rich colors and vitality of her art have anything but escaped the style of her pieces today.
But her creative projects extend beyond the musical and the visual; Niagara has even caught the eye of Kate Moss who dedicated an eight-page spread to Niagara as guest editor for Vogue. Much of her work, especially the style found in her paintings, can be found on silkscreen printed tanks and t-shirts on Niagara’s website. But her paintings, nevertheless, remain at the forefront of her artistic undertakings.
The fierce and sultry women of these paintings have personalities so distinct and unabashed that their presence is simultaneously alluring and domineering. The cartoon-esque pieces, layered in bold colors and outlined in soft, black lines, are hypnotic in their deceiving simplicity. Adjacent to Niagara’s painted women, however, are curt commentaries, phrases and speech bubbles ridden with sass and infused with a lustful edge.
But underneath Niagara’s voluptuous women snidely remarking, “If I want your opinion, I’ll beat it outta you,” there’s an attraction that extends beyond their beauty. Behind the paint and within the life-like characters lies an inherent contradiction: sophistication to the point of disregard. Like Niagara, the women in her art can attract without attraction itself; rather, like any proper femme fatale, both Niagara and the women of her paintings exude a confidence that needs not an explanation.
For more, visit her official website at http://www.niagaradetroit.com.