Nettie Wakefield’s “Brandy” at the Jason Vass Gallery

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Nettie Wakefield with "Brandy 2" ![Nettie Wakefield with "Brandy 2"](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472b1e254b38efed0f050f7_image1.jpeg) Nettie Wakefield with "Brandy 2" London based artist Nettie Wakefield has built a career off of exceptionally detailed textural works in the medium of graphite and paper. Her subverted portraits highlight a sense of warped nostalgia with details pulling viewers into the sublime delights of endless depth.   For her show entitled _Brandy_, at the Jason Vass Gallery, the focus was placed on portraits of a blow-up doll named Brandy. At just under 5 ft. tall she is young, pigtailed and will be used until replaced. These drawings were accompanied by 2 sculptures of Brandy in bronze. One sculpture elevated on a wall in a conventional manner, while the other lives in a bro'ed out installation placed on a couch, clothing strewn around, cigarettes and beer opened and ready to be consumed. We caught up with Nettie to talk about her show and going into a tangible state. ![](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472b1e254b38efed0f050fa_image-asset.jpeg) _**What is it about Brandy that is able to have such a far reach with innocence and deviance, is it about the familiar aspect of such an image and the confrontation with it?**_ Everything is open to interpretation and whatever you feel from it is personal to you but definitely, there is an innocence. Mainly due to the plain fact that she resembles a child. Big wide Disney eyes, deer in the headlights, and blond plaits and being only about 5 ft. tall. The deviance in it I suppose is her one and only purpose, to be used for something very adult indeed!  _**How did you get into sculpting with Bronze, how has it been adapting your visual technique from graphite to 3d forms?**_ Working with sculpture is something I never considered before or even knew I was interested in. I've always been so focused on drawing. When I was doing my residency at Banksy’s Dismaland, I met a couple of LA artists who were also present for the whole 6 weeks (I was just there on weekends) So we formed a bond. When I was in LA shortly after for a group show we reconnected and I got to visit their amazing studios and see all the wonderful work they created. One of them works specifically in bronze. At this stage, Brandy was just a pencil drawing but I could suddenly visualize her crumpled self as a polished bronze statue - and that was it. Started preparing the cast and nine months later she became 3d. _**How has the LA audience taken to your work compared to the UK audience?**_ I'm looking forward to hearing what LA thinks! I've had some very appreciative messages from the people who attended the opening over Instagram so that's encouraging. _**How has LA affected the way you work and the themes you are exploring?**_ I think LA was the perfect place to showcase Brandy for the first time. I started working on the drawings of her in 2015 and the show came out shortly after the #metoo and #timesup movements so it certainly seems more relevant. Especially at the source of where it all began with Harvey Weinstein.  _**What was your process in the way they were installed?**_ I had two identical sculptures so I wanted to create this dichotomy of the beauty of the sculpture in itself as an art piece but also its dark symbolism. Brandy 1 is hung on the wall where viewers are able to touch it with white cotton gloves whereas Brandy 2 is situated in a diorama on a sofa surrounded by accoutrements showing evidence of our mystery man after use: a laptop, recently removed suit with paul smith underwear, half-eaten pizza, tissues and brandy’s original box. He's perhaps not the kind of individual you would imagine to use Brandy but a more refined version who perhaps seems unlikely on the surface. When I found myself looking at her in that situation, I suddenly felt voyeuristic and somehow involved and complicit in her violation. Even though I was the one who created the installation it still didn’t sit comfortably with me to look at her. Brandy is made for a specific purpose and therefore doesn’t have a choice in being complicit in her own violation. _**Congrats on the show what is next for you?**_ Right now I'm in the midst of a book illustration - which is in stark contrast to Brandy and new experience for me. Mainly watercolors of fish. A very renowned chef called mark Hix (has restaurants in London such as the Tramshed - famous for its huge formaldehyde cow and chicken by Damien Hirst suspended 15 ft up in a rustic warehouse setting). Each restaurant has an eclectic mix of artworks done specifically by various established artists. He’s writing a cookbook called HOOKED with recipes and anecdotes about fishing, catching a fish and failing to catch a fish. When the book is done there will be a book launch (in his art gallery - HIX art) combined with a showcase of all the paintings done for the book, some of my previous work and all curated by a fantastic artist duo called Rob and Nicky Carter. This will be sometime in December or early 2019 * * * Images Courtesy of Nettie Wakefield Written by BJ Panda Bear