Observations: Gavin Turk and Paula Rego take on torture
Friday 13 November 2009
Some of Britain's most prominent contemporary artists have donated works to the Medical Foundation Art Auction, whose proceeds will support the victims of torture.
The auction, on 20 November, will feature more than 70 pieces of sculpture, photography and paintings, from known and emerging artists, with estimates ranging from £200 to £18,000. For the first time members of the Medical Foundation's Open Art Studio, survivors of torture from around the world who use art as therapy, have also contributed. All of the work, including that of Howard Hodgkin, Gavin Turk, Cornelia Parker, Sarah Lucas and Olivier Garbay, is on public display at London's Royal Institution until the night.
A brilliant-red triangular work, created by former Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner for the auction, is branded with the message: "Not Now, Never". It is expected to go for at least £2,000. "Torture is an abomination", says Titchner. "The fact that it exists in any form is a stain on the human race. Supporting its victims is the least we can do." Paula Rego's contribution is typically shocking, featuring a mythical woman with vagina dentata looming threateningly over a mother and child. Entitled Mother Loves You, it is expected to go for £14,000-£18,000. "Don't hurt people," Rego says simply of her contribution.
The event has not only inspired existing artists but has also encouraged the likes of Derren Brown and The Prodigy to pick up their paintbrushes.
Brown has donated one of his caricatures, of Stephen Fry, while The Prodigy have teamed up with contemporary pop-artist Stuart Semple.
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