Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monsters and Rockets: BLEEDING ART: Elizabeth McGrath: "Elizabeth McGrath survived a punk kid’s worst nightmare. It was the early ’80s, and McGrath was a 13-year-old L.A. hellion with spiky boots and a tri-hawk haircut. One day, her parents said they were taking her to the zoo. Instead, they took her to Victory Christian Academy, a Fundamentalist Baptist correctional school. She was there a year, spending her first month locked in a closet-like space called the Get Right With God Room. Girls would sit in the hall praying for her in shifts while she was subjected to bright lights and loud religious tapes 24/7. She had to pee in a bucket.Flash-forward a couple of decades, and McGrath, now nicknamed Bloodbath McGrath by pals, has blossomed into one of L.A.’s wildest, sexiest characters. She is a rising star in the lowbrow art movement, a punk princess who sculpts bizarre little monsters, fronts a band called Miss Derringer with her tattoo artist husband, and does the occasional modeling job dolled up in corsets and fishnets. Not only did Victory Christian Academy fail to crush McGrath’s rebellious spirit, it’s possible the tortuous treatment she received there gave her the touch of madness that makes her art so unforgettable.