Part of being an artist is doing things that people don’t expect, and that’s certainly what British artist Lucy Owen has done with her latest exhibit, “Beautiful (Indestructible) Women of the Juggalos.”
For the uninitiated, juggalos are what fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse call themselves — the clown-faced rap duo originated in Detroit and has sold millions of albums — and female fans are often referred to as juggalettes. The collection of paintings — it debuts Friday at the Start Gallery — is a follow up to Owen’s 2014 show “Where the Juggalo Roam,” which also showed locally.
For this collection, Owen did more research. She left Cape Town, South Africa, where she was living and studying — and where no one knew what juggalos were — to get up close and personal with these Faygo-loving, colorfully-dressed rap fans. She not only visited Detroit when her first show was on display, but she also attended the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos in Ohio.
“I realized to progress any further, I had to get to where the juggalos where,” she said in a press release about the exhibit. “I needed to immerse myself in American culture, Detroit’s headspace, and get up close and personal with the Juggalo family to really get a grip on what the hell I was making.”
The result is a collection of pierced, painted and tattooed women that — through Owen’s lens — appear softer than the (often topless) party animal stereotype that usually accompanies this subculture.
(Indestructible) Women of the Juggalo World”
6 p.m. Fri. opening reception
Runs through Dec. 19
206 E. Grand River, Detroit