Vee Speers: Immortal
In Immortal, the guests of The Birthday Party have grown up, shedding the material escapism of the masquerade for a more interior, emotionally charged version of fantasy. As Speers tells us,"the escape of adolescents into fantasy is just as important as in childhood, only as young adults the escape is quite often into the virtual world of film, television and internet. So the imagery I have created is an isolated world unique to them, somewhere between fantasy and reality. I want them to be alone, standing like fallen angels, but still part of a common world."
The landscapes surrounding Speers's subjects—shot in her native Queensland, Australia— possess an ethereal, boundless quality that reminds us by contrast of the inevitable transience of time. Speers has self-consciously sought to evoke comparisons to the history of classical painting, at once reinvigorating both the vivid, spiritual Romanticism of Thomas Church's landscapes and the frank self-reflection of Renaissance portraiture. The apparent purity of her ruminative young subjects is underscored at times by brush fires and towers of smoke so dramatic they could be clouds. For Speers, this striking contrast of the cataclysmic and the pristine invites viewers to "indulge the myth of eternal youth," arguably an impetus for artistic production from Dorian Gray onward.
Vee Speers was born in Australia and has been living and working in Paris since 1990. Her work appears in a number of distinguished public and private collections, including CB Collection, Tokyo; the Elton John Collection, UK; and the Museum of Fine Art, Houston. Two monographs of her internationally acclaimed exhibitions The Birthday Party and Bordello, have been published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK and EARbooks, GE, respectively. Ms. Speers has shown work in a number of solo and group exhibitions worldwide.