For me, Arlene Textaqueen is the big draw at SSFA, even if she did pull the upstairs room. Arlene's latest show continues her ongoing theme of 'textanudes'. In fact, she has just finished a deck of playing cards (54 nudes, that includes the jokers) based on her nudes from 2003 till now. There were plenty of gallerinas on hand to sell these for $30 a pop - I picked up 3 packs!
Luckily for my 2011 art budget the cards might have sated my Textaqueen urges. We already have a lovely example of Arlene's work here at Big Lamington HQ and had been thinking about getting another but the red dots quickly went up under my favourites (SSFA artist Alex Seton beat me to the Textaqueen self portrait which is the back of each card). Prices are up a little from last year I think, ranging from $3,000 to $3,900 based I think on relative size. But I still think they are good value as her works are so vibrant and distinctive (although these seemed a little more explicit than her last show).
Opening night is always fun with Arlene and whilst there were no singing girls this year Arlene was reading fortunes from her cards for the punters before getting a few eager beavers to play strip poker. Thankfully I just had my fortune read (past - 3 of hearts; present - 2 of clubs; future - Ace of diamonds) and it was interesting to hear the stories of each artwork and how Arlene thought that might tie in with your own life.
Points - 3 for 'You want to set yourself slow' (pictured); 2 to 'Self portrait in texta's' and 1 to 'As opposite as it gets'. Also top marks for the playing card idea, reminds me of the Norton christmas project, a really nice touch.