Predominantly a painter, Bod Mellor is perhaps best known for their parodic portraits of celebrities. Their work often deals with sexuality and violence and explores the intricacies of fame, identity and politics.
The series The Austerians depicts a selection of public figures from the worlds of entertainment, film and politics. The name ‘Austerians’ refers to a group of art industry professionals that formed a not-for-profit collective in the late 2000s to protest the rise of service industry jobs within which they found themselves self-employed after graduating from American and European colleges. Operating on the fringes of politics, fashion and conceptualism, the group was a short lived but influential team of curators, historians, gallerists and directors. Mellor is said to have worked with the group in 2006 as an intern.
The artist aims to interrogate how mass-media figures are depicted and the way they are interpreted and understood, with responses ranging from ambivalence, resentment, hostility and adoration to obsessive stalking. The paintings, which are intended to be displayed so that the subject is looking downwards, depict the group in frontal portraits wearing Edwardian maid uniforms. They seem to be confronting the viewer, turning the tables on the voyeur.
- Artwork Details: 102 x 76cm
- Material description: Oil on canvas
- Credit line: © the artist
- Medium: Painting
- Accession number: ACC7/2018