Judy Darragh

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1957

Evolution

  • Purchased, 1989
  • Wood and plastic painted silver
  • 400 x 320 x 370mm
  • 89/138
  • 1989

Known as the ‘Queen of Kitsch’, Darragh creates flamboyant sculptures that celebrate the commonplace and popular culture. She uses garden ornaments, toys, religious knick-knacks and souvenirs to challenge and subvert conventional standards of high art and good taste. From the German word ‘kitsch’, it refers to the low art (and often mass-produced) objects of everyday life. Like an amateur hobbyist or collector, Darragh takes pride in recovering items overlooked by other artists. Here, a part-fish, part-human creature with a futuristic silvery finish reverses the usual notion of evolutionary progress, while the small plinth and name plate suggest the pretensions of grandeur often seen in minor trophies. Judy Darragh graduated with a Diploma in Visual Communication and Design from Wellington Polytechnic in 1978. Since then she has exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions. In 2004 a major exhibition of her work ‘So… you made it?’ was held at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

earlier labels about this work
  • Known as the ‘Queen of Kitsch’ Darragh creates flamboyant sculptures which celebrate the commonplace and popular culture. She uses objects such as garden ornaments, toys, religious knick-knacks and souvenirs to challenge and subvert conventional standards of high art and good taste. From the German verb ‘verkitschen’ (to make cheap), the term ‘kitsch’ refers to the low art (and often mass-produced) objects of everyday life. Like an amateur hobbyist or collector, Darragh takes pride in recovering items overlooked by other artists. Here, a part-fish, part-human creature with a futuristic silvery finish reverses the usual notion of evolutionary progress, while the small plinth and name plate suggest the pretensions of grandeur often seen in minor trophies.

    (Label date unknown)