Inspired by mysteries surrounding a legendary dark-skinned Madonna, this elaborate living tableau of the Virgin Mary by the late Australian artist duo is the result of a two-day collaboration with a black female model at the Polaroid 20 x 24 Studio in downtown New York in 1989. The portrait recreates the florid style typical of South American art of the Baroque period. A comparative piece, The black Madonna, from the same Miserable pleasures and glorious mysteries series with the same model and different hand position is in the collection of The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.
Rose Farrell (1949 – 2015) and George Parkin (1949 – 2012) are internationally recognized as one of Australia’s most significant and pioneering collaborative artistic partnerships. Their extraordinary vision and united mind pushed the boundaries of photographic portraiture and video art throughout the three decades of their practice.