Oil on linen, 153 x 112cm.
“Popular culture is both the prolific producer and voracious consumer of the beauty myth and its heroes and heroines, who provide creative fodder for Deidre But-Husaim. Her edgy painted portraits of insouciant youths offer a curious combination of knowing innocence. But-Husaim sources her subjects on modeling websites, appropriating the blurry imperfect Polaroid shots of hopeful fresh faces desperately seeking to be the next ‘It’ boy or girl … Like a talent scout, she daily trawls through hundreds of images of aspiring models searching for that indescribable quality that sets one apart from the other: the smattering of freckles across a nose, a pair of piercing blue eyes, a birthmark or a ‘caught in the headlights’ expression. En masse these androgynous bright young things become ciphers upon which we may project our own ideals of beauty and youth. For But-Husaim they are a blank canvas onto which she superimposes elaborate ‘tattoos’ of her own design elevating her subjects in the process from the status of banal beauties, and rescuing them from obscurity. But-Husaim’s adornments are rather elaborate baroque and rococo embellishments of the artist’s creation, such as exquisite chintzy floral vines and delicate birds. Byron, whose name and visage conjures up both the poet and more contemporaneously the 1980s romantic lyrics of Morrissey and The Smiths, is all flowing locks and feminine features. Decorated with a spray of pretty flowers he is redolent of a new sexuality, not one thing or another, just beautiful…” – Alison Kubler.