Thursday, May 05, 2011
Don't Burst My Bubble
On May 19th, one of my earliest large paintings, Rave Doll with Bubble Gun, in high gloss enamel on canvas, 150cm x 300cm, is to to go under the hammer at Lawson-Menzies' fine art auction in Sydney. The work was first sold at my first solo exhibition in a commercial gallery, Hazed, at Agent 029 Gallery, in Brisbane, 14 years ago – for less than a tenth of Lawson-Menzies' current pre-sale estimate of $A15,000 to $A20,000.An image of the work appears in the auction catalogue alongside works by some of Australia's most highly regarded masters, including William Dobell, Lloyd Rees, Charles Blackman and Albert Tucker. There is also a brief essay on the work itself:"Dooney has made several clever transformations with Rave Doll with Bubble Gun, 1997. Many of the known conventions associated with billboard advertising, pop art and street graffiti have been distilled into this one work. With the stock in trade of street art being enamel paint and strongly outlined figures, Dooney appropriates their ‘baggage’ in creating her distinctive images. An image that we might be expected to see on an abandoned wall or in a comic strip has been elevated from ‘low’ art into ‘high’ art, to use terms which are antiquated, since artists like Dooney made their mark in commercial gallery settings."Without doubt, Dooney has adopted some of the visual strategies of artists like Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), who in turn, mimicked the inventions of comic strip artists in the 1960s. While standing on the shoulders of giants, Dooney’s work is nevertheless immediately identifiable as her own. A fiercely independent artist, Dooney appears to epitomise solitary, powerful and sometimes weapon-wielding females who hold their ground firmly against some perceived threat. Dooney’s characteristic high-keyed colours underpin the physical strength and sense of drama exuding from the work."