My friend took this photo at the opening of my first exhibition a few days ago. I showed work alongside other art student associates.
Essentially my metaphor is art students being trained to appeal to an audience. Though I didn’t reveal that in my cryptic Artist’s Spiel.
"Within this series of mixed media drawings I have considered the notions of taste and artistic values. The images themselves are loaded with varying degrees of perverseness. Notably, the subject of ‘Flirting With Danger’ is a performer from the 30s known as Koringa, the alligator girl.
The field of circus is a notoriously low brow art form, and Koringa worked in an era when the exploitation of animals for entertainment was common. Still, her act was seen as questionable when it came to taste by even her employer, Bertram Mills, of Bertram Mills’ Circus. His son Cyril had been the one to discover her, and Mills’ is quoted as saying ‘I never would have booked Koringa but I think she will be a success’. Upon the event of her indeed being a success, Mills’ asked his son to re-book her. This could be described as the circus owner sacrificing his own artistic values on account of what ‘sells’.
Each piece is a direct copy from black and white photographs in a book called Circus by Rodney N. Manser, published in 1987.
Replicating someone else’s image and calling it your own shows very poor etiquette and is likely to have you considered illiterate and/or ignorant by the art world. The viewer would be correct to query what further significance and meaning can be put forth by reproducing these images to hang in a gallery space. I therefore call to question my own artistic integrity and ask the viewer where the finished product falls in terms of taste.”