If you’ve been watching American Horror Story on FX, it probably wasn’t long before you noticed the ability of a simple disguise to transform a character from a regular to regularly horrifying. But with Lawren Alicé‘s Body Painting at Gallery ML, a collective body art gallery located at 126 Market Street, disguises are multi-layered: at times beautiful, disturbing, morose, and empowering, disguises lose their classically secretive nature and themselves become forms of identity.

Photos of Lawren Alicé’s transitory works are taken by Noah Musher, Gallery ML owner. From extreme close-ups to elaborate stagings, the subjects of Alicé’s pieces populate their canvases like nouveau nymphs, embodying a spirit of progressive urbanity with the same lithe grace with which they once populated the forests of Greek myth.

These momentary monuments to human metamorphosis wind in labyrinthine lines and colors across their living canvases, challenging the line between stillness and motion, body and object. Finally vested with the colors and forms usually reserved for predators and plantlife, these individuals evolve into something beyond nature.

Alicé’s unique explorations of the human canvas are the last show of the season at Gallery ML’s current space, as they hope to move to a larger venue in early 2012.

Currently, Alicé is on her way to the RAWards show on January 12 at The Chinese Gauman Theater in Hollywood, to celebrate her recent win for the title of 2011 National Visual Artist of the Year.

Erica Harney

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