Minute beauty celebrated
Friday 17 March 2017 Share FacebookDelicious Email

Observing contemporary politics and social issues, eX de Medici’s practice since the 1970s has included media as diverse as sound performance, installation, painting and photography. In the 1990s, de Medici also achieved national renown as a professional tattooist of exquisite skill and sensitivity.

de MEDICI, eX, Australia b.1959 / The theory of everything 2005 / Watercolour and metallic pigment on Arches paper / Purchased 2005 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist eX de MEDICI, Australia b.1959 / The theory of everything 2005 / Watercolour and metallic pigment on Arches paper / Purchased 2005 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist
de MEDICI, eX, Australia b.1959 / Live the (Big Black) Dream 2006 / Watercolour and metallic pigment on paper / Purchased 2006. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist eX de MEDICI, Australia b.1959 / Live the (Big Black) Dream 2006 / Watercolour and metallic pigment on paper / Purchased 2006. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

De Medici’s large watercolours celebrate the minute beauty of living creatures. But they also show, in obsessive detail, signs of the destructive aspects of human society, with numerous emblems of degradation, violence and death entangled in the midst of abundant life. De Medici’s watercolour paintings are, in fact, contemporary memento mori – visual reminders of the brevity of life. Each painting is highly coded. Skulls, the swastika and other fascist motifs, sex toys and symbols of Australia’s colonial past, and yellowcake and radioactive warning signs are juxtaposed with patterning inspired by the natural world and delicate floral and still-life arrangements. Her world is abundant, even gorgeous, but it is also extremely dangerous.

On view in ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ until Monday 17 April 2017.