Kitsch pulp fiction film inspires latest exhibition by renegade artist

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In 1996, Australian artist Rosemary Valadon painted a portrait of singer Deborah Conway as Medusa, which made it into the finalists selection of that year’s Archibald Prize. The image was bold, brazen and typical of Valadon’s manner of subverting the feminine and the feminist.

Well the artist is up to her subversive tricks again, this time presenting an exhibition Wicked Women, inspired by colourful, sexy and kitsch art of the early to mid-20th century pulp fiction. Her piece, ‘Gun Crazy’ (above), for example, is a depiction of detail of the cover art of one of the more popular of cult-fiction films (of the same name, original poster below).

Says Valadon, “I was intrigued at the glamorous depictions of women in the pulp fiction covers juxtaposed with the reality of female criminals,” adding that the idea for the series hit her when she viewed an exhibition, ‘Femme fatale: the female criminal’ on at the Justice & Police Museum in Sydney in 2009.

In appropriate fashion, ‘Wicked Women’ will also be on exhibition at the Justice & Police Museum, Phillip Street, Sydney, from 20 October, 2012 to 28 April, 2013.


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