1316138, 2013 -160 x 130 cm -Huile sur toile
Exhibition from september 6th to october 26th 2013
First, Katinka Lampe collects pictures which strike her in fashion magazines and the press. For her latest paintings she has also worked using images retrieved on the Internet to do with an extremely provocative American social phenomenon: Child Beauty Pageants. Little girls, all dressed up, show themselves off in beauty contests, based on oddly old-fashioned rituals. Like so many little living dolls, the only thing they are looking for is glamour before their time, polished, as they are, like false fingernails. Babydoll childhood disappears behind the make-up, the false eyelashes, the lipstick that is too red, the sequins and the extravagant poses. The artist works on this phenomenon in order to appropriate it for herself, first by re-creating the settings of a photographic session with young models. In a very joyous atmosphere, her friends’ children get involved in the game, having fun being little stars in front of her lens all “make believe”, heavily backed up by make-up and props. This first photographic stage may call to mind the work of Bettina Rheims: the images produced belong to a strange zone, somewhere between aesthetic glamour and iconic construct. Like in a film shoot, Katinka gives stage directions, but she is well aware of what separates her from the coded sessions of fashion sets. The model looks over her shoulder, smiles, seduces, puts her hands on her hips, and knows how to catch the cameria’s attention.