Anna McNay

Display: Sadie Lee


Display: Sadie Lee

Just what do lesbians do in bed? According to classical
paintings, they hover close together, arranged in aesthetically pleasing
contortions, apparently enjoying blissful arousal by barely touching.
Typically, they will bedded in a pleasant pastoral landscape or ancient marble
Mediterranean Palacio, with Cupid and his various cherubs hovering nearby.

In her new series of work, specially commissioned for the
GFEST Gaywise FESTival Visual Arts Exhibition, Sadie Lee (born 1967) challenges
and subverts this classical imagery, reimagining some of the 18th
century Rococo artist François Boucher’s works, with both a lesbian gaze and
female empathy. Introducing a certain element of kink, and building on a
personal interest in pornography, she rewrites this sterilised version of
lesbian sex as an I Modi for the
iPhone generation. Her use of vintage imagery from 1970s porn mags echoes the
classical masters’ borrowing of imagery from past works as well as their use of
models, who were all but sex workers. By expressing the subject’s genuine
pleasure, however, Lee introduces an important – and previously absent –
element to her versions of these images: empathy with the model. As a lesbian
artist, there is also a strong sense of desire. Beautiful yet explicit, her
works teeter on the oft debated line between the erotic and pornographic.

GFEST Gaywise FESTival Visual Arts Exhibition:

Menier Gallery, 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU

10 – 22 November 2014

A panel discussion on LGBT ‘Myths and Mythology’ in art – past, present and
future – featuring Sadie Lee, Anna McNay and others, will take place
at the Menier Gallery on 21st November at 6pm. The event is free
but tickets must be booked through the GFEST website.

Sadie Lee’s artwork on facebook: