One of the handful of solo shows I am doing over the next 18 months is a A New Canon Of 21st Century Saints. It opens at Melbourne Art Rooms on St. Valentines Day, February 14th, 2009 – a few months after my Dangerous Career Babes launch party at Superdeluxe in Tokyo.
My 21st century saints are pornstars representing a broad spectrum of race, creed and sexual inclination. They're portrayed as the personae they adopt for public consumption, enhanced by the vivid colours, slick surface finish and sheer massiveness – some works will be as much as three metres high – of what some art critics call Shock Pop. They form the canon (with an accompanying liturgy) of the spiritually sterile cult of porno' chic and come complete with traditional, saint-related trappings, including statuary, relics, scapulars, and votive offerings: think of it as the merchandise of modern organized religion. Nominating new and unlikely saints for our times is an ideal way for me not only to trace – and also, in some way, celebrate – the disorienting intersection of sexual identity, perversion, political subversion and feminism. It is also an opportunity to offer a critique of the whole concept of sainthood and our enduring reverence for it.
Above: St. Alexis of Tijuana, 2008, study sketch for oil painting, acrylic on paper, 30cms x 20cms