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Mask #1



Richard Maloy

New Zealand

1977 -


Born in Auckland in 1977, Maloy received a Bachelor and Master of Fine Art at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. He has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and Australia. He was included in ‘World famous in New Zealand’, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, ‘Remember New Zealand’, Artspace Auckland, 2004 Sao Paulo Biennial, and ‘The future of Auckland’ Artspace Auckland. He completed a residency at Artspace Sydney in 2008.

Working in photography, sculpture, video and installation, Maloy uses a ‘coded language’, which ‘plays on … referencing concepts and aesthetics from conceptual art to contemporary popular culture’, Maloy tells Anna Jackson in an interview, ‘Nothing Magazine’ [#20 Aug/Sep 2007]. ‘Pretend, faking and hiding are all good words to describe what is happening physically within the work and with the process that is undertaken in engagement with the works.’
‘Tape Leg’, ‘Tape Nose’ and ‘Blue Arm’ are good examples of Maloy’s experimentation with ideas of performativity and the artist’s relationship with the viewers of his work, ‘I have an interest in the connections that take place between artist and audience, and how the artwork operates, plays out and facilitates this.’ The ‘deadpan’ and self-effacingly ‘awkward’ style of Maloy’s photographs forces us to question what we are actually doing when we look at a work of art, and what we demand of the artist when we do so. Accordingly, Maloy describes his works as self-portraits of a ‘generic artist’, they are ‘about personal space as a person, versus personal space as an ‘artist’ and how and when does this occur, and what are the differences.’

In his work, ‘Composition no. 2’, Maloy places himself in a box – simultaneously guitar-shaped and reminiscent of Ned Kelly – and poses in front of a wooden shed in various awkward positions. The images verge on absurd, not least in the fact that Maloy seems to offer himself up for criticism, and raising issues around performance and self-portraiture. Cleverly, however, it is this element of absurdity, this awkwardness as an artist, and these notions of the role of an artist as being inherently performative, that Maloy aims to investigate in this work.




Media category


Materials used

type C photograph




59.8 x 50.8 cm image/sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of Henry Ergas 2009. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Richard Maloy

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history