Melbourne

Joan Letcher

13 Verity Street

Joan Letcher steals from old master paintings and Hollywood movie stills, photocopying, enlarging, and recombining them into collages on canvas, and improving on the originals in every way. Before, these motifs were enveloped in the monochromatic fog of art-book reproductions or grainy film stills. In books, they were mere patterns of textured tone; through her interventions, a curious atmosphere and complexity is retrieved. By manipulating photocopy paper through lightening and darkening, she simulates the distorted view through a keyhole, an essential voyeurism. Letcher’s figures, freed from their museum frame, make fresh starts. The possibilities of cutting and slicing mean that settings are no longer constricted. Nor are the participants fixed in fantasy; they now relate to our time.

Paradoxically, Letcher’s paintings have an old-fashioned look. The borrowing of pictures from the media,

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