Vorticist, Deborah Klein
  • Artist
    Deborah Klein
  • Born
  • Title
  • Date of Production
  • Medium
    Oil and acrylic on canvas
  • Credit Details
    Colin Hicks Caldwell Bequest Fund, 2005

Deborah Klein


Melbourne born Deborah Klein lived in London for many years before returning to Australia where she studied art at the Chisholm Institute of Technology and Monash University.

Inspired by a linocut that she had produced of a braid of hair for an exhibition in 1998, Klein has gone on to produce an extensive body of work focusing on hair and hair ornaments.  For the artist, this subject, depending upon its context, can evoke emotions and sensations ranging from the erotic to the creepy.

Klein's fascination with women's hair and its embellishments has been fuelled by a number of different sources, including  illustrations of sailing knots, hairdressing magazines and portraits of Elizabethan aristocrats 
With the main focus being on the scalp rather than the face, the sitter in this larger than life-size work has been forced to turn away in order to display her elaborate coiffure.  Klein said of this series in an interview in The Age on 4th February, 2004:  "when the work got bigger  and bolder... it became much more confronting… and like the earlier works the new pieces suggest absences, erasures and forced anonymity."