Wicked Women

Art Life , Exhibitions Jan 04, 2013 No Comments

From Andrew Frost...

Rosemary Valadon’s Wicked Women demonstrates her fascination with film noir and pulp images of antique crime fiction. Valadon’s claim is that her paintings “… both embrace and subvert the genre’s stereotypes – sexist becomes sexy”. To do this the artist collaborated with her portrait subjects: “…each sitter chose a classic film poster or book cover featuring a female criminal and re-created the pose. Valadon then painted her own version of the original artwork, which she infused with the modern sitter’s personality”.


The big hook is that the subjects include crime writers such as Tara Moss and other “notable actors, writers, lawyer and other professional women”. Recalling such shows as City of Shadows at the Museum where antique black and white images of criminals and others detained at the old jailhouse, Wicked Women suggests that, quite aside from issues of sexiness or otherwise, anyone is a potential criminal – or maybe that too is the fantasy of criminality. On the other hand, Tara Moss looks like she means it.

Until April 28
Justice & Police Museum, Sydney.
Pic: Rosemary Valadon, Murder by the book (Tara Moss), 2010. © Rosemary Valadon, photograph Peter Adams.

Andrew Frost

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