Monday, May 25, 2009
Revaluing A Gun-Slinging Lolita
Lolita At Sixteen dates from my very first exhibition, which I produced and promoted myself in Brisbane in 1997, when I was just 18.The work marked the beginning of my preoccupation with the influence of media and advertising on contemporary female identity. I expressed this by making paintings that aped the size and proportions of roadside billboards. It was stamped (rather than signed) HAZED – later works are stamped DOONEY – because I was also exploring ideas inspired by Andy Warhol about the commodification of art. My aim then was to create a corporate-style brand for my work, to promote it as product rather than unique artefacts. Doing away with the centuries-old tradition of the artist's signature was the first step. Painted in high gloss enamel on a 1.45m x 3.00m canvas, Lolita At Sixteen was my first conscious declaration of my very big ambitions as an artist.The painting is to go under the hammer at Menzies Art Brands, in Sydney, on June 24th. The auction house's estimate of $A10,000 to $A15,000 is cautious – a more recent, smaller work sold for twice that amount at auction in London, in December – but these are difficult, unpredictable times.