eX de Medici’s works have risen quite dramatically in value over the last decade or so. Taking in her latest showing at Sullivan + Strumpf this week, it’s not hard to see why. Need Head is a kaleidoscopic array of watercolours, painstakingly rendered and often prismatic in their complexity. Revolving around the trappings of war, Need Head is a series of military helmets surrounding the show’s centrepiece Cure for Pain, a large-scale painting laden with imagery, history and the strange beauty of military ‘masks’ strewn through lush overgrowth. eX de Medici has always inhabited a kind of liminal no man’s land in the art world. She’s a punk who works in watercolour; a successful artist who operates successfully across both the ‘capital A’ art world and as a tattooist; a woman who thrives on the fringes of society while also an Artist Fellow at CSIRO, allowing her unrestricted access to some of the rarest natural specimens in the world. At the end of the day, she is an artist of incredible technical skill who possesses the vision to relentlessly position herself on the fringes, in the gaps, between worlds. Need Head reflects this. It is an exhibition you can spend time with – aesthetic, complex, political, beautiful and thought-provoking. The airy and well-lit new Sullivan + Strumpf space in Waterloo is worth a visit in itself, but especially so while Need Head sticks around.
Until May 21, Sullivan + Strumpf, 799 Elizabeth St, Zetland, 9698 4696, ssfa.com.au/