Hazel Dooney in Melbourne with Porno

Hazel Dooney is showing in Melbourne at the Mars gallery with a photography exhibition called PORNO. This will be her first photography exhibition, but it won’t be the first time she has created controversy with her sexually charged works. Her “Sex Tourist” watercolors caused a stir at the Art Melbourne art fair last year when a sponsor of the event tried to have her work censored.

Hazel Dooney nude photo

The new exhibition is inspired by the proliferation of home-made pornographic images that are distributed via the internet. As Ms Dooney argues, “Porn’s creepy sensibility has insinuated itself into every aspect of popular culture … and even achieved some legitimacy. It has found its way into the hands of millions of middle-class suburbanites who might never have risked a foray into an actual ‘adult store’ to buy it over the counter. With the proliferation of more sophisticated home media and simple editing applications, many have experimented with producing it themselves.”

Along with photographs which she created or for which she modeled, Hazel Dooney has also assembled a series of sexually explicit photographs created by amateurs: these she has reprinted and refined in order to present them in the more serious context of art.

See more Hazel Dooney work at her Website here or read her Blog here.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.

Comments

  1. Donald Frazell says:

    You cant make somethng art by simply putting it into some kinds of academic “context”. it is either art ort it isnt, and this is far from original. Japanese and Indian textbooks and porno prints have been around for centuries, Europe also, especially with the beginning of photography in Paris. Silliness for artistes as usual. Now, I have always been interested in the possiblitiy of pornography as art, but pretty much never seen it. It is earthly and sexual, not sensual and eternal. Though mating and creating children is. The possibility exists, but this aint it.
    Art school academic pseudo intellectualism at work again. As an extremely sexual being, I would love to see it and have experimented with it from time to time, but difficult to keep from diverting from arts true essence. Good way to study the body however, but as a real photographer and growing daughtsman, this aint it
    And again hardly original. Just another cry for attention, more needy and weak than strong and aggressive.

  2. Even though I understand her statement conceptually, visually and technically they don’t work for me.

    Still perhaps I would have to see a larger body of work in order to judge it fairly.

  3. Donald Frazell says:

    Some of the watercolors are actually pretty good, some mind you. The others, other self involved series? Hackneyed and pretty boring. But even though she is posing (Sinead O’Connor look, not the super hero she wants to be from some movie)(Matisse warned against those who tried to LOOK artsy) She actually has some talent. If she actually stopped talking about herself so damn much and paid some attention to the world, she might be OK.

    Even though I am exhausted from the whole les bo/gay/gender confused groups taking over art, I work in LA ya know, and live in Long Beach, lesbian capital of the universe. The self validation is tedious, and annoying with its insistency and exhibitionism, she actually shows some sensuality and devilish GIRLISHNESS in some that are charming.

    A British attribute us yanks dont have, and usually kinda despise. You Aussies really are British in culture, unlike us. But if she put the effort into her work she does into her blog and webpage, she could be something. I am sure she would scream she already IS something, but talking too much about your self doesnt expand ones emotions and experiences, its like Al Pacino overacting, be more like he was in the Godfather, his only truly great acting role, silent, with passion burning deeply, quietly, ready to explode, but never predictable. She is so far. But young, she may be quite good, someday. Perhaps little prozac. I am serious.

  4. You’re a harsh critic Donald. I hope Hazel’s wearing her art critic repellent if she reads your comments..lol.

    And you’re right about Australians being more British than American. Most of our television, movies, music, and fast food stores seem to come from America though, so the culture isn’t completely alien to us.

    I was just thinking about the differences in our cultures. America’s love of the flag, religion and lots of talk about freedom are three things that I came up with. It’s funny that patriotism and religion are more about controlling a society rather than giving it freedom.

    It’s an interesting topic. I would like to spend some time in America and Britain, just to see the differences. I have only been to non-english speaking countries with completely different cultures, so it would be interesting to see how different AUS, UK and USA really are.

    I went off topic a bit..

  5. Donald Frazell says:

    You gotta go to New York, got the best museums outside of Paris, the Frick is highly underrated.
    Guggenheim has goofy shows, and building highly overrated as was its architect, and now Frank Gehry. Insides highly impersonal, badly poportioned, and lumpy in execution. Though Frank finaly found a material that worked in teh burnished metals, though its relection from the Disney Hall raises the temperature ten degrees adn blinds the residents in the condos across the street. Like Coubossier(sic)some guys get way too much press and credit. MoMA is simple and beautiuflly proportioned on its lower levels, like the Parthenon, and shows the works well, adn comfortable.
    Unfortunately, most of the great jazz musicians are dead now, but Ron Carter often still plays in clubs, go to The Vilage Vanguard and the BlueNote.

    I wouldnt have written a second time if i didnt think the woman didnt have talent, But the truth is, I am have met far to many women who talk like this and have sexual issues,most have been molested when young. Though almost all gay men are born gay, no man could stand the smell of aanother who isnt, a pheromon thing, I think about half of women who are lesbian either were molested when young, or abused by men later in life. And really isnt a topic for art, its a social psychological thing. And you know I hate that in art, we need categories like music.

    One word, Art, covers far too many intentions, and those lesser intentions have wiped out creative arts, They have been mistaken for the human heritage of religius art of Lascaeux,Egypt, the Parthenon, Muslim mosques, there are some incredibly beautiful ones in Irana dn Afghanistan. Of course the Taj Mahal. The sistine chapel, Cezanne and Picasso were very much religious painters, their themes were always about mans “divine” nature, and his profane reality. Contemporary art is jsut bland, inward dwelling, and nothing comes from nothing. Gotta put some stuff in ones head first, explore humanity, not traveling, those folks are always the same, and hange with others just like them, very simple minded. Thats watching life, being a voyeur, not doing.

    Talk about off topic. Anyway, she is pretty good, if she loses the preaching, as in reality she preaches far more than I do. That superheroine series, is just retarded. Especially when she attempts to do “ethnic” women, they are characatures. And rather insulting, but in Australia it would go unnoticed. Though you got your own racial history there, almsot as bad as ours.
    And not everyone is the flag waver and cross bearers you see on Fox, except in the Bible Belt of the South, which is hypocritcial as hell. Seems those
    people are jsut interested in ratings, they loved my girl Tanya, and she helped organize Obama in California . after all the dried up old white hags they get of the right, they love an intelligent hot young black lawyer, even bill o riley loved her. It is entertainment, this is LA. And again my issue with both cable and the internet, people are splintered, and go to whatever makes them feel better about themselves. Including art blogs. :)

  6. I dont have anything profound to say. But everytime I come across a gallery on line that has similar exhibits, I always wonder, who is buying this kind of work and do they hang it on the wall behind their sofa?

  7. Americans are quite prudish, yet they have a huge sex industry, and sex in advertizing, and a penchant for giant plastic grapefruit boobied women whose bosoms are plastered on checkout magazines, yet they can’t cope with nude art, or breastfeeding in public (speaking in general of course).

    Hopefully hazel doesn’t give a rat’s arse what anyone thinks and as it should be. While her current work isn’t working for me, it is her artistic vision and as such I think it has value (as far as exploring an issue).

  8. Donald Frazell says:

    Actually, not prudish at all, and known as quite a ladies man in my bachelorhood. Alwayas had a beautiful black woman on my arm, kinda frustrated my kids I think knowing they would probably never have one as fine. Married the best by far, and painting her as we speak. Coming out of the bathtub sorta a cross between Bonnard and Matisse. Diebenkorn mad some wonderful drawings of nude women also, and doing a small bather series from drawings in a life drawing club I am in at Santa Monica YWCA.
    No body issues at all, but know where you are coming from. We a a huge country over 300 million, and views vary, from Bible Belt to decadence in the “blue” states, that has actualy helped create teh so called conservative “red” states. Frisco, West Hollywood, Cape Cod, all are over the top. but many of us are fine with ourselves, but many have that judeo-christian=islamic issue with nudity.
    And reading her blog I was correct, and she wont be mad as she is already on psychotropic drugs. Figures, but also realized she is really an illustrator. Her works dont perform on their own, she creates a theme and concept she then goes on to illustrate. But still do like a few of her watercolors. Yes, even the ones with a penis, if it is one, seems to like lesbian action, strap on? And yes, I am QUITE comfortable in my sexuality.

  9. Not talking about you Donald but my observation as a british expat (who has lived in four states) is that in general Americans are quite prudish compared to Brits. That is not being negative just an observation about the differences between cultures, some of which I think you have observed yourself.

  10. Yeah, New York is on my “must see” list Donald. Not just for the art galleries, but to look out over masses of concrete (I find cities both repulsive and beautiful at the same time), and to just experience the energy of the place.

    Your girl Tanya sounds like a fox, but I find it hard to believe that Bill O’Reilly would be supportive of an Obama supporter. Maybe the old fox thought he had a chance with her..lol.

    Janet, that’s an interesting question. I have never been into a house with overtly erotic works hanging on the wall. Nudes, yes, but nothing more. I would hang them, but I have no children and no social standing to uphold. People take me or leave as I am.

    Corrine, giant plastic grapefruits makes me laugh. It’s interesting how the things we repress have a way of rising to the surface and biting us on the arse/ass. Same with these priests in the news, why not just let the guys marry, have casual sex, or see hookers?!.. then maybe they wouldnt have to start looking at innocent kids.

    Donald, I love Deibenkorn’s drawings of the nude, but I havent seen a painting of the nude that I liked by him. I don’t know how he got his drawings of the figure so right, with his paintings of the figure being so wrong. I like most of his other paintings, just not his paintings of the figure (clothed or nude).

  11. Donald Frazell says:

    Yes, Americans are rather uncomfortable in thier bodies, but with so many and spors being such a huge part of who we are, showing it off is second nature also. But when not for use, as in sports, it is only during stunts of exhibtionism, especailly in the art world. They are awkward when scantily clothes on the dance floor or even the beach, unless a young hottie, or aged cougar(weird new term gay Hollywood boys came up with)showing those bubles of silicone adn trimmed tummies. Again, exhibitionism, far from natural.

    But I spend much of my time in the AfricanAmerican community, which has its fair share of bible toters, but also more at ease with nudity, when at home personally. And far fewer anorexic types, women can be slim but beautiful curves. Or large and hold their weight better, better frames, more athletic. But also got its share of heavyweights, funny how poverty produces fat people in wealthy nations, the opposite in developing countries. Damn fast food.

    Dion, you are right about Diebenkorn paintings, he never could find his way with volume in color, its his series of Ocean Park, a neighborhood of Santa Monica, that brought out the best in him. But his drawings are perfect, simple, sensitive, but very strong. Abstraction of angualr forums to produce the light of Cali creating depth and layering of tones and meaning that made him great. His early stuff isnt all that, but had one or two nice ones.

    And NO place is as beautiful adn ugly as NYC. Its energy is overwhelming, the culture shock I ahd when seeing it for the first time in the late 70s was amazing, buildings forming a wall going straight up at least 13 storise along the Hudson, as well as the newly made world Trade towers was amazing. But its all about people there, they are the energy. The good, adn the bad. Be careful, but it has been cleaned up since then. People are very wary on the streets, lots of crazy folks there, but once you get to where you are going, it was very refreshing to find people who actually knew what they were talking about, unlike most Cali people who jsut want to hang out and drive cars. But its been quite some time since I went there, could be very different, even hear Boston isnt nearly as racist as it was the last time I went for a weddinfg 18 years ago.

  12. Hey, where is the porno? Posted image is pure art.
    However, some of porn photos (especially made by amateurs) sometimes looks like a real masterpiece. I know, the beautiful light or composition is pure accidental in that case, but I cannot resist to saving those JPG’s in separate folder ;D It’s real zen – to see the beauty in the surrounding life!

  13. Anonymous says:

    It would be much stronger is she cropped the left to the womans wrists holding open her lips. The light wall in the upper left is a distraction, and the side useless to a strong composition. Would bring the main body into the frame better, she does have a nice line and color against the background, the leg crossing providsing a strong base adn horizontal, with nic diagonals moving the eye, and centering the soon to be action. Not a bad shot, but hardly art except as a provocation. Which isnt exactly mature. But see how it could make a nice exhibit, adn a book from them if really good at sifting through internet sites and recropping, and working in photoshop. But on a wall at home? Only if you need a woman real bad or operate acat house. Kinda silly.

  14. One has to realize that the actual market (for purchase) of artworks is extremely small. Pornography is largely consumed on the Internet and in print. In fine art there are not many collectors out there buying these works, but point taken, they are viewed by many, and many more via their boosting in print and on the net. That said, pornography is a powerful draw and I think will always be a ripe subject. Technically, we’re still in a very Baroque age, where any kind of style serves the end towards gaining attention. Wasn’t it Thomas Ruff (yes, it was) who began to bring Internet porn into the galleries (see my two part article here: http://intercreate.org/artmag/pages/paris.htm ) .

    Was it supposed to change something? Make it more palatable, more banal? Unlikely.

    I’ve played with sexual imagery in my own work, but using words and oblique images in order to spread things out, as it were, and nail down the consciousness that encompasses hypersexuality that breeds porn. Some of these works are in my A KICK IN THE KUNST show now in Berlin through 5 September).

    Good discussion,

    Matthew Rose / Paris, France

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