Kellisimone Waits- Art Scene (January 2010)
The “Power Plays” paintings of Kellisimone Waits make a politically ironic statement rather than a satiric one. By depicting figures of power like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton in rather compromising positions, Waits strips them of their political and moral authority and imagines them as flawed and fragile. Adopting a slap dash guerilla style, the painting style is as dysfunctional as the manner in which Waits presents her subjects. Secretary of State Clinton assumes dominance over a wide eyed Speaker of the House, Condoleezza Rice appears menacing and crazed wearing nothing but black lingerie, and the only thing keeping Margaret Thatcher from exposing her nipples are a pair of crosses. JFK and Henry Kissinger on the other hand are presented in a straight close up each wearing pink ties and with a long sallow, contemplative face. Waits’ work notes that political figures are subject to the same scrutiny as celebrities, but she seems to suggest that they should not be put on a pedestal, as they are idols that can easily fall.