Gallery 2
Spaghetti Western
Kez Hughes

If you thought these paintings were by Kez Hughes, you’d be a little bit right, for each image has a prior life in the individual oeuvres of other Melbourne artists. Confounding ideas of authenticity and originality, Hughes re-presents the work of fellow artist as appropriation art. But as surely as Romantic ideals are subject to scrutiny, Hughes reasserts high-cultural values through an emphasis on formal painting techniques. Her curatorial selection constitutes an oblique index of cultural capital that heightens the anxiety of the outsider spectator. Part homage, part pastiche, Hughes’s visual engineering effects some slight alteration and degradation of the original image, and these shifts along the signifying chain allegorise the act of meaning-making. The outlaw artist is a maker and collector who recreates her favorite pieces for her own pleasure. Both consumer and producer, Hughes drops the gun to take the reins.