Violette Bule,  Las Odalisques , 2013

Violette Bule, Las Odalisques, 2013

Photographer turns the streets of Venezuela into stage for satire

One of the newest additions to the Art Represent artists’ network is Venezuelan artist Violette Bule, who uses urban space as a stage on which she creates playful, fictional scenes tackling current issues in Venezuela.

Her performances which are created using the city as her subject and backdrop are documented through the medium of photography and often use humour to highlight complex social issues. An Alice-like figure falls through a pothole, a family watches Star Wars characters engaged in battle over a crumbling road, and a woman getting a pedicure soaks her feet in a puddle. Her series ‘Caracas Emmental’ which includes the photographs ‘Caracas Wonderland’, ‘Caricuao Wars’ and ‘La Manicurista Munoz’ showcases surreal scenarios staged and photographed by the artist and ridicules the poor condition of the streets, highways and avenues in Caracas.

Violette’s ‘The Heroines’ series includes ‘Las Odalisques’ a photographic record of a protest organised by the artist which saw over a dozen topless women wearing only red trousers in front of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo to demand the return of Matisse’s “Odalisque in Red Trousers”. The artwork had been stolen several years prior from the museum and replaced with a fake. The FBI had consequently retrieved the artwork, but it was not returned to the museum in Caracas, instead it remained in The United States. Violette staged the protest to draw attention to this in an attempt to have the priceless artwork returned to its rightful home in Venezuela.

During the protest, she explained, “My main goal is to have the original returned but I also want to call attention to the irony behind the way the art market works. After this scandal, the Odalisque will surely be worth much more.”

You can check out more of Violette works here.