Follow Us

Rozi Demant "New Works" 2014

Two years ago Rozi Demant moved to Auckland to a decidedly more suburban environment compared to the raw and picturesque coastline of Whakatane.  Since this tim ...

Read More

Two years ago Rozi Demant moved to Auckland to a decidedly more suburban environment compared to the raw and picturesque coastline of Whakatane.  Since this time the range of images reproduced in the recent international Art book “Dark Stories by Dark Artists” clearly show how Demant’s work has progressed.  As a teenager Demant’s paintings typically depicted detailed staged narratives supported by long limbed stylised females.  The paintings included other intricate props such as exotic birds, flowers and cages.  The scenes were beautifully illustrated suggesting fantasies or dreams involving sensuous burlesque.

The new paintings in this 2014 exhibition retain that element of mystery and burlesque, however the figures are now lifelike and infinitely more sophisticated.  There is an obvious maturity evident here where an artist is clearly expressing personal sentiments and possibly exorcising demons as well.  The passionate rendering of skin tone and colour, the enigmatic expressions and gestures result in a more intimate presentation of the nude figure.  The artist challenges the viewer here to connect more immediately with the circumstances and imagery.

The subject of bondage is subtly depicted and further explored in this new series of work where the nudes are draped or suspended in spider’s webs.  While burlesque is often associated with female liberation, individual expression, and sensuality, Demant’s paintings exude an undeniable vulnerability with figures in various stages of captivity or bondage. In “Webs” a reclining nude in a landscape lies suspended in a web, while in “Poppies” two inverted nudes hang from a web built around a cluster of tall poppies.  The other paintings, mainly torsos, depict nudes with fashionably slicked back hair decorated with fascinators of hibiscus or magnolia flowers.  A distinction has been added where the hair has been dyed green, red or one case pink.

These passionate and delicate figurative paintings are in the main self-portraits.  This new series of work demands attention not only for the inherent subtleties presented in the compositions but also for the emotional expressions cast in the faces of the pastel made up protagonist.  Empathy remains optional for the viewer however, who could feel perhaps pity or even envy towards the web bound females depicted.

It is not every day that a New Zealand artist is featured in an international art book such as “Dark Stories by Dark Artists”.  Already enquires regarding Demant’s work has come in from far and wide.

While it is debatable the transition to NZ international city Auckland from Whakatane has provided further stimulation and inspiration for Demant, there is no question it has coincided with a more mature and finished edge to her latest series of works. It may be too soon to claim Rozi Demant as an Aucklander, but like Lorde we can certainly claim her as a New Zealander.

Share This :

Comments are closed.

Level 1, 255 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland (Up the escalator by Paper Plus) All Correspondence to PO Box 37602, Parnell Auckland.

Wed - Fri 11am - 4.30pm
Sat 11am - 3pm