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Venus Variations (reclining)



Deborah Kelly


1962 –

  • Details

    Media categories
    Collage , Sculpture
    Materials used
    paper collage on foamcore, wool, artificial pearls and wall sconce
    30.0 x 23.0 x 18.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2016
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Deborah Kelly

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Deborah Kelly

    Works in the collection


  • About

    In the 'Venus variations' series Kelly has created hybrid collages of famous images of Venus, the roman goddess of love, with contemporary images of female bodies from high fashion amongst other sources. Venus was not just the goddess of love, but also embodied sexual desire and beauty in an idealised form, and was much favoured by artists throughout history as a reason to paint female nudes in erotic poses. Kelly has sourced pre-roman images such as the Venus of Willendorf which offer other views of the female body as a fertility goddess, as well as such famous images as Giorgione's 'Sleeping Venus' 1510 and Titian's 'Venus of Urbino' 1538. In one of Kelly's versions, two Venuses intertwine in an erotic embrace which engenders a flowering tree; in another a woman from a retro high fashion image looks in a compact while a snake entwines around her body. Kelly both embraces the eroticism of the original images while suggesting other ways of viewing these art works in which woman are in control of their representation, their bodies and how and whom they desire. The male gaze becomes irrelevant in her whimsical and fantastic re-thinkings of classic art works, giving them a new life in our current moment.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Deborah Kelly

See all 29 works