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Malevolent Mythology

Bao Pham

A nude woman wearing a glowing pearl stands, her mouth agape, revealing long sharp teeth.
An emaciated, ghostly pale woman sits nude, fingering her long white hair.
A cute bee creature skewers a butterfly with one of her claws.
A pale woman is clothed in darkness, her naked chest covered in bright red blood.

If beauty can be found in every corner of creation, then surely the ultimate test would be to seek it out in death itself. Can a fragile nobility be evoked from corporeal decay? Can merciless killing machines embody aesthetic perfection? Bao Pham indeed presents a compelling argument for the sensual magnificence of mortality itself.

While most of the characters within Mr. Pham’s gallery are decidedly alive and well-adjusted, a select few females appear to be mere shells of their former selves. These haunted, emaciated creatures must exist only to maim, kill and destroy. And yet, they may be the most tragically beautiful specimens in his marvelous menagerie.

Are they suffused in otherworldly longing and regret, or do they revel in the misery that surrounds them? We can only witness the mystery of their delicate, menacing countenances before awkwardly returning to Bao’s more comforting, consoling visions of feminine allure. Perhaps the true nature will be revealed to you… in your nightmares.

Written by in December of 2012. Last edited September 2014.

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