Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Display: Sadie Lee

Display: Sadie Lee

Just what do lesbians do in bed? According to classical paintings, they hover close together, arranged in aesthetically pleasing contortions, apparently enjoying blissful arousal by barely touching. Typically, they will bedded in a pleasant pastoral landscape or ancient marble Mediterranean Palacio, with Cupid and his various cherubs hovering nearby.

In her new series of work, specially commissioned for the GFEST Gaywise FESTival Visual Arts Exhibition, Sadie Lee (born 1967) challenges and subverts this classical imagery, reimagining some of the 18th century Rococo artist François Boucher’s works, with both a lesbian gaze and female empathy. Introducing a certain element of kink, and building on a personal interest in pornography, she rewrites this sterilised version of lesbian sex as an I Modi for the iPhone generation. Her use of vintage imagery from 1970s porn mags echoes the classical masters’ borrowing of imagery from past works as well as their use of models, who were all but sex workers. By expressing the subject’s genuine pleasure, however, Lee introduces an important – and previously absent – element to her versions of these images: empathy with the model. As a lesbian artist, there is also a strong sense of desire. Beautiful yet explicit, her works teeter on the oft debated line between the erotic and pornographic.

GFEST Gaywise FESTival Visual Arts Exhibition: http://gaywisefestival.org.uk/visual-arts/
Menier Gallery, 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU
10 - 22 November 2014

A panel discussion on LGBT 'Myths and Mythology' in art – past, present and future – featuring Sadie Lee, Anna McNay and others, will take place at the Menier Gallery on 21st November at 6pm. The event is free but tickets must be booked through the GFEST website.

Sadie Lee’s artwork on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sadieleeart

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