Size Matters 2010

“Size Matters” is the first major solo exhibition by Cash Brown since 2008.

This body of work focuses on the male anatomy in European Renaissance of the 14th–16th centuries art and its relationship to censorship, obscenity laws and child protection laws currently in debate in Australia. Following from Appropriate held at Robin Gibson in 2008 and Priceless at Grantpirrie Project Window in 08/09, Size Matters also utilizes appropriation and examines the ways in which we assign values and worth to art objects.

The “Madonna and Child” series of oils on canvas combine Renaissance portrayals of the Virgin and Child, with the child’s genitals masked with well known Twentieth and Twenty First Century icons. These works were underpainted in the United States by a team of artists, who Cash Brown commissioned. Brown then adjusted and fine tuned the works before painting the superimposed image. These works are done entirely by hand, and no projection or digital media has been used.

The “Bombast” series of works on paper takes its cue from the codpieces found in Renaissance portraits. The etymology of Bombastic is from a French term for cotton stuffing, which was used for protection and ornamentation in codpieces – a short lived but entirely memorable period in European fashion.

“Shameless” is an installation of 88 black ceramic fig leaves arranged in a rectangle. Each represents a former lover of the artist and are numbered in accordance with a description and name in a little black book held privately by the artist. This work was inspired by Queen Victoria, who ordered a large plaster fig leaf to cover the genitals of a plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David she was given so as not to offend the lady viewers. The fig leaves in “Shameless” shamelessly relate to works by Felix Gonzales Torres and Tracey Emin.

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