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calamity cole


solo exhibition

June 7th - June 30th, 2024

Opening Reception: First Friday, June 7th from 5-9pm

Arch Enemy Arts presents CIRCUS FANTASTIQUE, nine mixed media paintings by pop surrealist Calamity Cole, who adorns her intricate watercolor, charcoal, and chalk pastel works with hand-cut glitter, flickering light from flat, matte dreamscapes that wax nostalgic for childlike wonder. 


“In my work, I hope to recreate the imaginative world we experience as children…My worlds are exclusively run by little girls, and I think that’s about taking some control and power back…reclaiming what girlhood means...In [the real] world, there is a lot of damage done to young girls, mentally and spiritually…[but] when I look at [my subjects] I think they exude unapologetic freedom.”


In CIRCUS FANTASTIQUE, a theatrical parade takes place. Reminiscent of the French circus of Degas and Seurat but hidden away in some subterranean forest cavern, unspeakable beasts are tamed by playful pixies. Dimmed lights and echoing drumroll give way to a bizarre bustling menagerie, where tiny, mischievous mademoiselles take to the air, breathing fire and performing sorcery–creating a world that is all their own. 


Calamity Cole lives in Southern California and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco Art Institute. She is deeply inspired by children’s books and describes her work as low-brown surrealism illustrations. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, she has had long periods of time when she has not been able to make art or use her hands and arms, and she wants “other artists or people newly diagnosed with RA to know that there is hope.” 

DEVOTIONS will be on view from June 7th - June 30th, 2024
Sold works will begin to
ship the week starting July 7th unless other rush arrangements have been made.

Payment plan options are available on most works.

All items marked with a red dot have been sold. 


click on any of the images below to zoom in to the detail

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