Opening next week on 4 March at The Little Black Gallery, London, is a new exhibition from Australian artist Vee Speers. Bordello is a searing vision of Parisian decadence, taking inspiration from the interiors and vibrancy of the city in the 1920s and 1930s. Shot on location in Paris, Speers’ work is set against the backdrop of surviving bordellos, where the lavish interiors have been preserved. Her photographs provide a seductive exploration of the female form and are produced using a hand-rendered Fresson charcoal process, lending Speer’s images an authentic quality.
Having moved to Paris in 1990, this Australian-born artist portrays her adoptive city with a deeply aesthetic appreciation. Evident within Speers work is the legacy of Brassai, whose photography captured the definitive imagery of early twentieth century glamour in the French capital. Bordello is a retrospective exploration of Parisian nightlife, drawing on the irresistible pull of the urban space after dark and the romance of the decades framed either side by war.
The photographer is recognisable by her seductively dream-like images, carving out a new aesthetic unique to her. She claims: “I don’t like to follow the crowd. I like to seduce, with images that are at once disturbing and beautiful, but leaving a space for the viewer to enter my world. My portraits combine elements which evoke conflicting emotions that can surprise the viewer, telling a story that is somewhere between fantasy and reality, the obvious and the unexpected.”
Vee Speers, Bordello, 4 March – 12 April, The Little Black Gallery, 13A Park Walk, London SW10 0AJ.
Bordello 44, courtesy of Vee Speers and The Little Black Gallery.