Archive for the 'With children' Category

You are what is most beautiful about me. Really?

I came across some new work of Del Kathryn Barton’s this week which I will talk about in another post at another time. But it reminded me of her 2008 Archibald winning portrait and I thought it was worth pulling apart some of the ideas contained within it. What is of interest to me in this piece, apart from the
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Peck, M. Fighter pilot #5 (detail). 2011

Michael Peck and his children of war

Just as I declared I would seek out portraits of mothers with their painted children, I came across a father and his painted children. And I found my own opinions well challenged. Everybody knows men don’t paint portraits of their kids – they paint the big names, the politicians, the sports stars, kings and queens – and they leave the
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Tennyson, K. Good son. 2012

The Good son.

I’ve decided to collect up all the portraits of children I can find that are entered into various painting prizes over the last little while. I’m interested in knowing if the child as subject is still primarily the domain of the female artists. This one was a finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize 2012 and is by Cairns based
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Modersohn_Becker, Paula. Self-portrait on her sixth wedding anniversary, 1906

Paula’s painted pregnancy

Paula Modersohn-Becker painted this self-portrait in 1906. It’s called Self-portrait on her sixth wedding anniversary and apart from being a fictional piece (Modersohn-Becker was not to fall pregnant until the following year and then she survived only three weeks after the birth) it’s a rare archetype. Firstly, it’s a nude. Women rarely painted themselves nude, despite being so accustomed to seeing themselves naked in
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Children as passports

As you leaf through women’s self-portraits of the past you can’t help seeing how many children are by our sides. They are everywhere – as babies, as toddlers, as siblings. It’s unsettling. Unsettling, because those children were our passports. They gave us permission to paint – not the children themselves (many of them probably wished their mothers weren’t so distracted by paint) but
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