Miles Ladin

Baboon in Front of Dolce & Gabbana Floral Print

Jackson's Painting Prize 2022
61x 46 cm

“In this work, I decided to contrast the natural world of African wildlife with that of High Fashion. For many years, I worked as a photographer capturing the elite fashion shows in New York and Paris. Although the esthetics of fashion can often create beauty, the apparatus surrounding that art is fraught with destructive elements as well as absurdities. I had seen fashion advertisements and pictorials of women sauntering in the African Plaines wearing high end designer clothing. These types of images are problematic in their surreptitious messages about ecology, economics, and race.

For this oil painting, I located an actual Dolce & Gabbana floral dress pattern and used it as a backdrop for a brutal mise-enscène of a baboon devouring his gazelle dinner. The finished painting utilizes a slightly expressionistic brushwork which adds to the violence of the scene. I have also used colors that accentuate both the illustrational quality of the floral fabric and the gore of the gazelle meat.”