Dara Engler
A Pirate's Guide to Heat and Meat, gallery installationA Pirate's Guide to Heat and Meat, gallery installationA Pirate's Guide to Heat and Meat, gallery installationA Pirate's Guide to Heat and Meat, gallery installationA Pirate's Guide to Heat and Meat, gallery installationPaper Doll Meat Locker, A Pirate's Guide to Heat and Meat, gallery installationPaper Doll Meat Locker, RabbitPaper Doll Meat Locker, Rabbit GutsPaper Doll Meat Locker, DeerPaper Doll Meat Locker, Deer OrgansHow to Tie a NetHow to Build a SnarePirate PortraitHawk Still LifeFish HeadsVole Still Life 2Mouse Still LifeRodent Still LifeHow to Catch a BirdHow to Wattle and DaubNothing Bites but the FrostNothing Bites but the Frost (detail)How to Skin a SquirrelSquirrel Still LifePirate with a SkunkSpearfishing for Sea LampreyFish Still LifeFish Still Life 2Stag SwashbucklerPirate Learns to Tie KnotsPirate Captain Hat CollectionPirate Still LifeUntitled Ship PanoramaShip SeriesShip SeriesShip SeriesShip SeriesShip SeriesGreen StripesPirate at the End of Her RopeMatching Outfits Do Not a Friendship MakePirate Captain PortraitPirate Sails the Seven SeasPin Up PirateRoadkill Reverence TurtleRoadkill Reverence RaccoonPirate Wrestles an AlligatorCuriosity Killed the ArmadilloPirate Pretends to be a LandscapeSaintly Swamp HenSaintly OpossumSaintly Southern ToadSaintly ArmadilloSaintly AlligatorGood Girls Gone FeralUntitledPirate Pretends to be a RockUntitledUntitledGeek LoveUntitledStriped TightsEvery Pirate is an IslandOther Pirate AdventuresAfter EgonPirate Doesn't Go SwimmingUntitledUntitledUntitledWaterwing PiratePirate Doesn't Go Out for SushiSushi predella (detail)The Pirate of Heartache Doesn't Go to the CircusThe Pirate of Heartache SwashbucklesPirate of HeartacheUntitled 1Untitled 4Untitled 5Untitled Cat PaintingCat Panel DiptychCat HoarderCat Hoarder, DetailCoffee ParadeCat Lady ZombieControl Top Snow WhiteMermaid ZombieBifurcated ZombieDrunkenGreen BeadsPantyhose, Ovenmit ZombieHead ColdPiggy Zombie
A Pirate’s Guide to Survival

My paintings and drawings are portraits of an alter ego, often rooted in exaggerations of my own experiences. Their loose narratives are allegorical, embracing human foible and the humor that comes with it. My interest in the figure lies in facing these awkward obstacles.

Inspired by my four years in Louisiana and by Karen Russell’s book “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” my pirate-y anti-hero adopted the curiosity of Russell’s characters. I was struck by her character’s combative reverence for their natural environment. My pirate is spearfishing, skinning squirrels, and learning to tie nets. She is an explorer, running into new creatures in new lands.

My work plays with flatness, pattern and line juxtaposed with the rendered form. It is unclear whether the figure is outside or whether the background is a backdrop in an imagined space. The three-dimensional artifacts further cloud the line between fact and fiction, causing the work to teeter between real and imagined worlds.

-Dara Engler, 2016