Studio Voltaire is pleased to announce a new publication by the British artist Dawn Mellor. The book features a large series of drawings of Michael Jackson and a number of other figures made by the artist when she was a teenager during the 1980’s.
Book Launch: Michael Jackson and Other Friends, offsite at 17 Brooks Mews, Mayfair, London
However commonplace these kind of adolescent drawings might be, they are a precursor to Dawn’s concern with celebrity and fan culture; also functioning as subjective social documents. There is something endearing, and somewhat pathetic, about the Jackson drawings – both as a reminder of a tragic cultural icon and the indication of the burgeoning sexuality and artistic ambition of the young artist. Next to Jackson are images of the athlete Carl Lewis and comedians Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby as well as depictions of social unrest and injustice. In addition to creating a seemingly curious dialogue within the pages of the book, these other portraits suggest the pull of a wider African-American popular culture from an insular life growing up in the North of England at the height of Thatcherism, revolving around TV and other mainstream culture.
The publication has been designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and includes texts by Dawn Mellor and Joe Scotland that explores the cultural context in which the works were made. Michael Jackson and Other Men is co-published by Studio Voltaire and Koenig Books, London. Studio Voltaire has produced a special limited edition version of the publication, which includes a signed print by the artist.
Dawn Mellor (b. 1970, Manchester) lives and works in London. She has had recurring solo exhibitions at Team Gallery, New York: Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Il Capricorno, Venice and Galerie Drantmann, Brussels. She has participated in various group exhibitions including: Team Gallery, New York (2008); Yvon Lambert, New York (2007); Defamation of Character, PS1, New York (2006);Expanded Painting, Prague Biennial (2005) and Remix: Contemporary Art and Pop, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2002).
Dawn Mellor, Michael Jackson and Other Men, 2011. Publication. Courtesy of the artist, Koenig Books, London and Studio Voltaire, London. Credit Andy Keate.