Dog playing flute

Big Booby 2


Hanging sculpture

Joana Vasconcelos uses appropriation to decontextualise and subvert the roles of found objects, materials, and everyday situations. Her sculptures and installations are characterised by their large scale, and use of rich and recognisable colour palettes. Alongside her object-based works, Vasconcelos also produces performances, videos, and photographic documentations. She is particularly influenced by the legacy and vocabulary of Nouveau Réalisme and pop, where the object is both complicit in its role in the chain of production, and critical of it. Much of Vasconcelos’s work discusses concerns with the place of women in society, class distinctions, and national identity.

In Big Booby*, Vasconcelos chooses to amplify an ordinary household object – the traditional kitchen pot-holder – until she manages to annul perceptions of the initial referral, which are evocative of the abstract paintings of Kenneth Noland and Frank Stella. On the one hand, the shapes, materials, and techniques resort to conferring some sense of familiarity and comfort; on the other, the monumentality of scale, together with the forced anchorage of the piece by the six hooks which secure it to the wall, seem to want to transfer an epic and tragic substratum onto domestic functions.

*The title refers to the painting The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies, from the fictitious master Van Clomp, popularised in the British sitcom, “‘Allo ‘Allo!”.