All works for the Poet Assassinated Series are Archival Pigment Inks on Hahnemule Fine Art Paper, 76 x 51cm

Excerpt from catalogue essay by Jonathan Turner

“In some ways my new photo- series The Poet Assassinated is a parody of women’s fashion,” says Australian artist Maree Azzopardi.” Nowadays, we are used to seeing plastic looking, touched up photos of beautiful women printed on magazine covers, but by using a 1930s shop-mannequin mask, the make-up is already done. That’s also why I’ve crushed up and damaged my original prints, then rephotographed them, to give these images an older, ironic emotion, almost as though they are portraits taken at a satirical cabaret.” Inspired by the faceless man in Apollinaire’s story “The Poet Assassinated”, Azzopardi’s new series is based on her view of today’s homogenous, anonymous society. Strangely, the expressionless female mask takes on elements of the personality of each of the models posed behind it. Some of the portraits seem erotic or melodramatic, others become quite religious. Although the shop-mannequin face could be seen as a ghostly death mask, Azzopardi’s work is a celebration of the diversity of life.”Its fascinating to see how the same mask takes on the different characters of my models – including a 7 year old boy, a 9 year old girl, a woman in her twenties and a 30 year old man. Their eyes, supposedly the most important part of any photographic portrait,are totally covered by the mask. So the models couldn’t see me when I was shooting them. All they could see was blackness”.