There has long been an uncomfortable and gendered separation in art history between highbrow “fine art” and “decorative art” – those things deemed feminine and therefore merely pretty.
This prejudice shows clearly in the treatment of Sonia Delaunay. A crucial figure in modernist art, she has nevertheless been relegated over the years to the position of second-most-significant Delaunay – after her husband, abstract painter Robert Delaunay. Sonia also painted bright, bold abstract works, but her oeuvre, to her critical detriment, extended far wider, into fashion, furniture and illustration. Continue reading “Sonia Delaunay retrospective: Tate Modern’s new show gives the genre-busting artist her due”
Photojournalism and well-meaning art projects about children in poverty tend, for obvious reasons, to be grim and gritty; hard-hitting and guilt-tripping. Iris Della Roca’s series and accompanying exhibition – As the King is Not Humble, May the Humble be King! – is, therefore, a breath of fresh air.
Working with children from some of Rio de Janeiro’s troubled favelas, the French photographer asked them how they wanted to be seen by others. They responded that they wanted to be photographed as princesses, fashion models and divas, Casanovas, cool dudes and kings. They didn’t want to stare mournfully down the lens: they wanted to be fabulous. Continue reading “Iris Della Roca makes the dreams of Rio’s most deprived children come true”