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Hannah Barrett: Monsters
Hannah Barrett has previously described her paintings as "invented portraits based on collage: copies of photos or in some cases, copies of paintings are cut apart and reassembled into figures of ambiguous gender. Fusing the features of both sexes creates a range of androgynous characters that may be straight, queer, hermaphroditic or just cross-dressing." Her aim is to create portraiture that deviates from the conventional male or female, and to explore the resulting pictorial and conceptual possibilities in a fun and unexpected way.
In her latest series Monsters, Barrett has pushed beyond human attributes and created creatures that are fully of her own imagination, with no singular reference to reality. In this way her Monsters are entirely fictional, and the viewer can project their own character onto the portraits. Part fantastical being, part modern-day Dandy, the artist reconsiders the figure through a theatrical lens, creating a mise-en-scene exploring the ideas and ideals of otherness with a sense of humor, style, and whimsy. Barrett creates magnificent wallflowers, tender beasts flitting about inside an eccentric universe. The figures, both bursting out of and ensconced within their tight, monochromatic surroundings, are interchangeable: malleable beings filled with personality but tied to no specific identity.
Hannah Barrett: Monsters is an online exhibition available to view on our website through March 9, 2024.