Arabella Proffer is a Cleveland-based artist, author and co-founder of the indie music label Elephant Stone Records. Her paintings are highly rendered with an obvious degree of skill. However, upon closer examination, the subjects allude to very real and unfortunate obstacles in Proffer’s life. For several years, she’s been battling Liposarcoma, a very rare form of cancer. With an online flash sale this Saturday, Nov. 15, and a new collection of work opening Friday, Nov. 21 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Toast CLE (1365 W. 65th St.), you have two opportunities to support Proffer’s efforts.
“Toast will be an overview of different series I've done: punk aristocracy, medical history, surreal girls and straight-up sarcasm,” explains Proffer. “One piece was in fact censored by NBC when I had a solo show in Washington DC; they put a royal purple bar over her breasts — not black — purple, and if you see it you'll know why. I credit someone at that affiliate for having a sense of humor. So, it's a good way for people who haven't seen my work in person before to see various pieces from over the years.”
Four years ago, Proffer had surgery to remove her cancer (and part of her thigh along with it). After the surgery, she had a flash sale to raise funds to pay for her medical expenses. Earlier this year, she had another surgery, and due to some resulting complications, has even more medical bills.
“As for the sale, I don't know, I'm just sad I have to do it. I had a similar sale four years ago after my cancer was taken out, along with my thigh and other bits, so I really wasn't expecting I'd need more surgeries let alone something so drastic — I thought I was fine,” says Proffer. “I was told a year ago I was fine. I'm still not quite over the surgery that went awry from 6 months ago where I wore my damn catheter to my own art reception at BAYarts! And then the bills started rolling in that I am still paying, most of which are bills for THEIR mistake nearly killing me by sending me home with stage 3 kidney failure.”
“People ask what they can do to help (many of you already have so thank you!) and all I can tell you is support my work,” says Proffer. “I don’t like the idea of charity or whatnot without you getting something in return. So, for the short-term I decided I’m having a crazy sale and contest!”
Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, Proffer’s flash sale will include numerous drawings and paintings on paper priced between $25-50 with free shipping within the US. Works include fashion illustrations, oil on paper and works created under the tutelage of acclaimed artists Jules Engle, Raymond Pettibon and Jim Shaw. Additionally, anyone who purchases one of these works during the flash sale will automatically be entered to win a framed watercolor, Hoodlum, 13” x 18”.
For more info, and to purchase work from the flash sale, visit Proffer’s website (ArabellaProffer.com
). Her work will be on view at Toast CLE during regular business hours through Friday, Dec. 12. The reception is free and open to the public.