“Once I'd seen Elsa Lanchester in this role I found her to be
the most iconic horror female of them all.”
— Emma Mount
British painter Emma Mount’s gorgeous oil portraits celebrate marginals and unconventional people like pin-up girls, burlesque queens, tattooed ladies and pop culture icons. Her outsider subjects, rendered with photographic precision, assume relaxed poses and calm gazes that suggest pride, inner strength, and an unmistakable touch of attitude.
Mount’s pop icon gallery includes Judy Garland’s Dorothy, Christina Ricci’s Wednesday, and Elsa Lanchester’s Bride of Frankenstein done in a splendid circular portrait, full face and eyes forward, with her imperial upswept hairdo and beestung lips.
“I first saw the Bride of Frankenstein at a very young age,” Emma wrote me. “The impression it made was immense and I was awestruck with her in particular from that moment on."
Mount’s painted backgrounds are distinctive. Pin-ups pose against lush curtains, starry skies or intricate damask wallpaper. For The Bride, Mount painted a startling purple leopard print.
“That's just very me,” says the artist. “It sneaks into my life all over the place (clothes, shoes, cushions) and it was the first thing that came to mind when I was painting her and needed a background. I wanted to drag her out of her black and white prison, and bring her kicking and screaming into a colourful, kitsch present!”
Mount's favored subjects are usually women, but Boris Karloff’s Mummy, the doomed romantic Ardath Bey, rates a solemn, glowing portrait, with hand on chest displaying his jeweled scarab ring. Mount captures the sad spirit of Karloff’s broken-hearted monster with the same assurance and insight manifested in her superlative rendition of The Bride’s eccentric beauty.
Read an excellent interview on the online art magazine Phirebrush.
With thanks to Emma.