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Mala Mastroberte an Artist Immersed in Self-Portrait Sleaze Contemporary Vintage Sleaze Series #19

Mala Mastroberte is a master, and she has taken the self-portrait where it has not been before. The colorful covers of what once made the magazine racks worth perusing. And THEN some!

Believe it or not, each and every one of the images here are self-portraits of the artist. I would like to be greedy and post more but you can see many others on Mastroberte's website below.

Mastroberte is prolific but meticulous. Her work is not only quite beautiful, it is deep in meaning and seeped in sexuality. That is deep in contemporary art concerns such as self-image, vanity, obsession, role-playing, feminism, the nature of beauty and allure...and seeped in sin and sordidness. Could there be a more appropriate contribution to the Contemporary Vintage Sleaze Series?

Mastroberte does the whole thing. The props, the styling, the photography, the posing, the editing, the source material. Does the piece call for a redhead? A blond? A black eye? Extraordinary as these are, the artist is self-taught and holds a degree in marketing.

Born in Poland, the culture we take for granted (and have been subjected to) over here was completely new to Mastroberte when she arrived 11 years ago. She did have comic books in Poland and remembers them as her first influence. I picture the Poland of a decade or two ago somewhat gray, so you might imagine how the color here would appeal to an artist of her talents...an unlimited palette she has clearly taken advantage of.

I am showing only a bit of her work, and along with the striking "stand-alone" pieces I am also showing some "before and after" pieces to better appreciate her complete submersion into the pretend world of our popular culture past.

The artist does not currently have gallery representation, a situation which in my opinion will not last long...and she has not done much in the way of commercial work. When I saw the work initially, I thought she did commissions for others, so complete is her transformation. But nope...they are all Mala in a fantasy world into which she fits like a glove fetish.

Comparisons to Cindy Sherman come to mind, but Mastroberte was told of her long after she began turning herself into an illustrated glamor girl. I asked. Even what she calls the "doubles" and "multiples" are all the artist. In her statement, Mala talks of the power she feels being "witness and judge, delighted and appalled" from the safety of her own imagination. She intends to appeal to the voyeur and does.

Mala Mastroberte has a WEBSITE HERE and her flickr sites, one for MAGAZINES and one for PAPERBACKS shows much more of her vivid and exciting work.

"Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" is a weekly series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today. All art is copyrighted by the respective creator, distributor or publisher and therefore should not be reproduced WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST. NO cribbing and I ain't fibbing! Each and every post in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series will link to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Cre Hunter, Stephen Adams and more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.

Yes. All Mala Mastroberte