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Title

Venus variations #5 , from the series The Venus variations

2015

Artist

Deborah Kelly

Australia

1962 -

  • Details

    Date
    2015
    Media category
    Collage
    Materials used
    collage of book and magazine cuttings on paper
    Dimensions
    57.0 x 39.5 cm sight; 64.3 x 46.4 x 3.0 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pencil "DK/ Deborah Kelly/ 2015".

    Credit
    Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2016
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    328.2016.5
    Copyright
    © Deborah Kelly

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Deborah Kelly

    Works in the collection

    29

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  • 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 2 exhibitions

    • Deborah Kelly - Bodies of work, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 05 Dec 2015–21 Feb 2016

    • Here we are, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 Aug 2019–13 Oct 2019

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Deborah Kelly

See more works