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Alex Murray

MA Fine Art work by Alex Murray
MA Fine Art work by Alex Murray

I’m a multidisciplinary artist, with an interest in exploring gender identity and the differences between 3D and 2D work.

My recent work is a re-making of the Sandro Botticelli painting Venus and Mars (c.1485).  In the original painting, gender differences are defined conventionally, as Venus is construed as the goddess of love and Mars depicted as the god of war.  The couple are shown post-love making, with Mars asleep and unarmed and Venus watchful, conveying the message that love conquers all.  My revisiting of Botticelli’s painting seeks to unpack the semiotic resonances of the original work, while considering the spectator’s relationship to the painting.  My re-make of Botticelli’s work highlights the recent shifts in societal perceptions of gender, specifically growing awareness of the wider spectrum of gender that exists beyond the binary positions of masculine and feminine.  In my new work, I have used humour, replacing the features of all the figures with self-portraits, depicting myself as Venus, Mars and as the mischievous satyrs in the background.  This playful approach celebrates difference in an accessible manner.  In terms of stylistic approach, I drew attention to the different light conditions in Botticelli’s composition and used blending and collage to achieve contrasting effects of light, shade and depth.

Lizzie Starling

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