Art Sexy hopes to expand the notions of success as an artist while disabusing several myths, e.g., that the artworld is confined to the hubs of New York and Los Angeles, rather than beginning in the artist’s studio; and that smart art is the purview of geeks and elitists; and that artists should take consumer desire into the 'production' of their work.
Entering the world of Julie Cockburn’s images – a labyrinthine space crosshatched by ‘the archived corridors’ of the artist’s imagination – we are met by a coterie of misfits: cut-outs, collages and aggregate creatures, they are the cast in a vignette where visual seduction is saturated by a sense of the familiar made strange. Cockburn’s characters are engendered from of a heady concoction of appropriation, artistry and artifice. Central to their creation is the cache of found images – neglected photographs co-opted from car boots, studio shots of 1950s movie stars, pages torn from American high school year books – that become playthings for the artist to ‘embellish, manipulate, torture and caress’. The portraits that Cockburn selects for her maverick mark-making are united in their status as images once dazzling but now defunct. She explains the allure of these outcasts and faded icons as their potential for redemption through a re-possession and re-visioning: ‘I feel I have a right to them, that they are mine for the taking, or rescuing even’.