Steve Rosendale
June 22 - July 20 2007
Opening Friday June 22 6-9pm

When Andy Warhol, ironically brought mass culture into the “high” art vernacular of America in the 60’s; popular iconography has been a favoured subject of many artists worldwide. Steve Rosendale emerges his own work in and continues this dialogue between popular culture and art, however stapling it with a more nostalgic flavour, worshiping 60’s actresses, actors, models and pop-icons in his large scale and beautiful portraits that evoke a longing for all things from the past.

Since Jenny Watson’s ode to a super model in her 1979 painting Twiggy by Richard Avedon, together with the 80’s Melbourne based circle of Popist artists which included Howard Arkley, Juan Davila and Maria Kozic, there has also been, in Australia, a strong discourse on the importance of mass circulated imagery within social conscious and how this not only defines our past and contemporary identities but also our future ones.

In society today the past is ever present and the recent fad vintage T-Shirt culture of youths, sporting bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Doors and old TV programs like The Goodies and The A-Team, suggest the continual reinvention of past sub-cultures and redefining imagery and challenging ideas of authorship in order to create new identities in completely different contexts and circumstances.

Rosendale appropriates imagery from his childhood and formative years, cropping images and toying with colour to add to the sensual and fond depictions of his subjects. The figures in his works can be interpreted in many ways, either voiceless victims of a continual male gaze, harking back and longing for a time when a demure and reserved woman was the only cultural norm, or the adoration of an attractive and powerful sex. Rosendale’s thought and respect show towards his subject matter, through delicate and beautiful application of paint to his large shrine like canvases gives the latter stance more credibility.

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