Simone Mangos

DAMAGED – thalidomide victims in medical documents

DAMAGED – thalidomide victims in medical documents makes specific reference to the tragedy surrounding the pharmaceutical drug thalidomide. The monumental works made using traditional techniques of oil painting are based on medical photographs and documents. The images, mostly from the 1960s and ’70s, have been assembled from archives, medical books and in some cases, directly from survivors.

Art Exhibition previously on at Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney precinct, New South Wales, Australia.
From Saturday 02 June 2012 to Sunday 05 August 2012

Figure 2 2012 (detail) image

Published by Art Gallery of New South Wales on Tuesday 22 May 2012.
Contact the publisher.

‘In the history of painting, deformed persons are typically represented as monsters, criminals and objects of contempt. Medical photography, at least up until the late 1980s, has mostly not been any different,’ observes Simone Mangos. ‘It is the individual victim who has to strip, have their body prodded, probed, stared at, photographed, discussed and decided upon as if they were not even present.’

Mangos’s paintings attempt to accurately reproduce the content and photographic qualities of these images, drawing attention to their subjugating, even cruel attitudes towards the subject.