Exhibition: 19 May – 31 Aug 2011
9 rues des Arquebusiers
Mon-Fri 10am-7pm . Sat 1pm-6pm
Vee Speers is an Australian artist living in Paris. She studied fine art and photography in Brisbane which was followed by a five year career in Sydney with the ABC television as a stills photographer. A short stay in France in 1990 became a permanent move to Paris, which for Speers is a place with ‘unlimited potential and endless creative inspiration.
In 2002, her passion for life backstage in the cabarets of Pigalle inspired her to revisit the smokey, 1920’s world of les maisons closes in Paris, using the backdrop of actual opulent locations which still remain intact today. During this period, Speers also began photographing eccentric people she met along the way, satisfying her attraction to those who dare to be different. But it was not until she turned towards her own childhood and family for inspiration that she became established in the art world for her hauntingly beautiful portraits of children in The Birthday Party. Her ability to blur the line between autobigraphy and fantasy, the bizarre and beautiful, is the key to these timeless portraits.
Vee Speers’ work has been exhibited in London, Paris, Miami, New York, Boston, Houston, Sydney, Atlanta, Stockholm, and China, Ireland, Singapore, Japan, Germany, Austria, Italy, Tunisia, Brazil and Mexico. Her work has graced the covers of Zoom, Public Art, Photo International, Images Magazine, A Conceptual Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, The Sunday Times UK, Russian Photo and Video and Swedish Photo with features in Eyemazing, Exit, Art Investor, Germany, Shots UK, Photo District News NYC, Photographica Tokyo, American Black + White, Milk, Fotomagazin, Chinese Photography, Bloom, BG Magazine Ecuador, Arte Al Limite, etc.
The monograph ‘Bordello’ with a foreword by Karl Lagerfeld is available world-wide, and ‘The Birthday Party’ monograph is now in it’s second edition.
We all think about our mortality but cannot imagine growing old. Our society is obsessed with freezing time and avoiding the inevitable death and decay as long as possible.
Vee Speers’ latest body of photo-based art, aptly titled Immortal, plays to these age-old sensibilities and timeless longings while riffing on the very contemporary convergence of similar ideas, ideals, and forms that have invaded our consciousness in our media-driven, technology-rich consumer cultures.
At once alluring and disquieting, these portraits of naked beautiful youths are set against backdrops of Eden-like natural beauty, or scenes of post-apocalyptic destruction. These Immortals are real people, young and beautiful, but they seem isolated, exposed and vulnerable, trapped, distant, on guard, defiant, all alone in a strange land, and confronted by echoes of subliminal fears and insecurities.
With the smooth gloss sheen of fashion-model perfection and an air of computer-generated artificiality, Speers has created a new world that merges Mona Lisa charm and mystery, with the melancholy of Dorian Gray, and the 3D cartoon poignancy of the movie Avatar.
The surface is loaded with reference both to classical art, and to the airbrushed Photoshop perfection of youthful beauty that has become the everyday obsession of western culture. These Immortals are all like tragic fallen angels, eyes opened with animal intelligence, looking out onto an uncertain future, not even aware of how perfectly beautiful they appear to be right now.
— Jim Casper