Success outside the art system, a conversation with Hazel Dooney, a Dangerous Career Babe

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Hazel Dooney Profile 08 GW_2Hazel Dooney has been an inspiration and role model to many artists seeking to self-produce their own careers, including myself and many past guests on Art Heroes. Uncompromising, driven and dissatisfied with the art world as she found it, Hazel pioneered her own path to global recognition.

Raised by parents seeking a sustainable alternative lifestyle in the isolation of rural Australia, Hazel Dooney emerged at a very young age as a rising star of Australian art. In 2001, when she was just 22, she was invited to join nine of Australia's most famous male artists – including John Olsen, Tim Storrier, David Larwill and Robert Jacks – on a high profile, privately funded artist's expedition to central Australia. The unusual journey was the subject of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV documentary, The View From Here, directed by Liz Jones, and a best-selling coffee table book, William Creek And Beyond, and the resulting artworks toured museums and regional galleries around Australia. Just six years later, Dooney was the only female artist under 30 included in Christie's prestigious London auction, Modern And Contemporary Australian Art, which featured major works by Brett Whitely, Arthur Streeton, Sydney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Tracey Moffat. Two of Dooney's early enamel paintings sold for over $A23,000 each.

Today, Hazel Dooney is one of the Asia-Pacific region's most famous and controversial artists under 35. Her large, provocative, enamel on timber paintings, often compared to Japanese artist Takashi Murakami's manga-influenced Shock Pop works, are in public and private collections in the USA, the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, S.E. Asia and the Middle East. Dooney has also been acknowledged as the first artist of note to step completely outside the traditional commercial and institutional gallery system to manage her own career using the web's self-publishing and social networking tools. It has been a move fraught with financial and professional risk and brought her into open conflict with many curators, gallerists and even other artists.

The artist and writer Hugh McLeod, once described her work as "Hard-edge, erotic Pop meets Tank Girl." The same could be said of the uncompromising Ms. Dooney herself.

Learn More about Hazel Dooney

  1. Visit Hazel's site:
  2. Visit Hazel's blog: Self Vs. Self
  3. Follow Hazel on Twitter or Facebook
  4. Hazel Dooney's YouTube channel

Further Resources:

  1. Lateral Action: ART IS WAR: An Interview with Hazel Dooney, Renegade Artist
  2. Gapingvoid: Ten Questions for Hazel Dooney

Show Highlights: Excerpts From the Conversation

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Statement + Bio | Curriculum Vitae | Bibliography

I'm best known as an artist and designer. Relaxing makes me tense, so I tend to put in a lot of hours on diverse projects.

On the way to a successful art career I've been a poet and writer, a tech geek, a print and web designer, illustrator, industrial designer, musician, teacher, actor, set designer and even a paid guru once.

It's all the same thing in the end— I wake up most days thinking about how I want to change, fix or improve some aspect of the world. And after a couple cups of coffee I get started on it.

My specialty is impossibility remediation: if it can't be done, I'm on it.

Mobile: 231.584.2710 (9 to 5 PST only) | Email me
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