MARCEL DZAMA “UNTITLED (SUPERHERO)” WATERCOLOR, 1998
With his unmistakable version of contemporary Surrealism, Marcel Dzama is one of the most successful Canadian artists.
Born in Winnipeg in 1974, Dzama had an international reputation by the time he was 30.
In the 1990s, as one of the founding members of the Royal Art Lodge, Dzama contributed to the renaissance of figurative art and simultaneously put Winnipeg on the map as a center for Canadian creativity.
Dzama's works are instantly recognizable for their subject and style. He often takes banal scenes or characters and injects them with menacing, eerie or twisted details that can border on the absurd, yet with a touch of fun.
In this untitled work (aka “Superhero”) we find a woman sprawled across the center of the page dressed as Captain America (at a fetish party). References to this particular comic book character reoccur throughout Dzama’s oeuvre. The woman is laying on her back, legs spread, with her hands gently tucked behind her head. Despite her dormant (and slightly erotic) position, she gazes back at the viewer with a blatant intensity.
Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of this work is the tiny gnome emerging between her legs, who appears to be exiting after the miniature clown running ahead. Could Dzama be implying that the woman’s body is a circus? What does this mean in the context of her Captain America suit? Like the best of Dzama's work, the viewer is drawn in with obscure clues and asked to assemble a narrative...or just enjoy his wacky imagination.
Dzama's work can be found in a host of prestigious public and private collections including Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the MoMA, Le Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. He is particularly favored by celebrity collectors including Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey and Steve Martin.
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Ink and watercolor on paper
Signed by artist (bottom right)
Canada, circa 1998
12.5”H 9.75”W (work)
15.25"H 12.25"W (frame)
Very good condition
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