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Les Dawson 1991-1993, 2008
Jack and the Beanstalk, 2008
40cm x 50cm (A1 framed)
Mel Brimfield works variously as an artist, producer and curator. What unites all these endeavours is a commitment to reinstating performance as a vital, progressive methodology within contemporary art. Whether working with visual artists, dancers, theatre makers, filmmakers, political activists or comedians she aims is to create challenging, enriching and risk-taking new work, reviving an ethos of collaboration in the process.
This spirit of cross-pollination is no more evident than in her own artworks, where art world stars and counterculture habitués rub shoulders with beloved figures from realms of vaudeville and light entertainment. For example, in the titular mannequin of 'Les/Leigh' (2008), comedian Les Dawson morphs into 1980s club performance legend Leigh Bowery.
'Les/Leigh' makes another appearance as 'the dame', starring alongside Victoria Wood, Orlan and Cindy Sherman in the paint and collage 'Jack and the Beanstalk' (2008), which apes the form of the traditional poster for a pantomime – an art form itself loved and reviled in equal measure. The 'Les/Leigh' combo is not as far fetched as it might first appear: Dawson plied his trade in the working men's club nights called Taboo, which is also the name of the club with which Bowery made his name.
Paul Stone, 2008
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find out more about Paul Stone