Academic journal article Hecate

Cover Artist

Academic journal article Hecate

Cover Artist

Article excerpt

Linda Marrinon (1959-)

How I hate Sexism (1982)

synthetic polymer paint on canvas

image 129.0 x 76.0 cm

frame 132.0 x 78.8 x 6.7 cm

Collection of The University of Queensland.

Gift of Michael Eliadis through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2014.

Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

Linda Marrinon combines imagery drawn from fine art and popular culture to create paintings that express her Pop Art sensibility and allow her to dissect gender conventions. (1) The female figure in How I hate Sexism (1982) takes a defiant stance that is underlined by Marrinon's title--her use of the pronoun "I" suggests the painting is self-referential. While realised in simplified outlines and bright, comic-strip colours, Marrinon's painting also recalls the work of French Realist painter Edouard Manet (1832-1883). Specifically, she evokes Manet's painting Le Fifre [The Fifer] (1866) borrowing from its composition, scale, Manet's use of broad patches of solid colour, and his depiction of a humble subject in an heroic posture. In this sense, both paintings subvert expected hierarchies--Manet elevating a fifer rather than an officier superieur; Marrinon championing an ordinary woman over a "great" man.

The cartoon-like style of the painting is both engaging and a strategy that Marrinon has used to focus on more serious issues. Art historian Robyn McKenzie has argued that cartoons function as a carnivalesque space in which conventional social relationships can be subverted. In Marrinon's works, these inversions take the form of alternative aesthetic and gender structures. (2) By combining caricature with aspects of Realism, Marrinon transverses aesthetic conventions of low and high art. (3) As art historian Chris McAuliffe has described it, her approach has been "variously identified as the embodiment of postmodern irony, genre-bending Pop-Art, wry feminist humour, later modernist nostalgia, or simply as an eccentric, independent spirit." (4) In this work, her subject's proud, confident demeanour and peculiar green skin disrupt traditional gendered relationships between artist and subject. …

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