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Maria Kozic: The Birth of Blue Boy

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


30 Oct 1992 to 22 Nov 1992

Curator: Peter Thorn

About the exhibition

Birth of Blue Boy! featured a giant inflatable figure called Blue Boy, installed on the roof of the MCA. The character was based on the Mutant series of characters created by Kozic in the late 1980s. Especially created for this exhibition, and accompanying the installation, was a six-inch cast plastic ‘multiple’ of the sculpture, as well as paintings, maquettes and working drawings of a ‘family’ of strange identities.

The Blue Boy inflatable was made of polyvinylchloride coated polyester fabric, cut and welded into the body-shape by an engineer. The work was hand-finished by Kozic with paints and dyes to add expression and tone to the features. The finished sculpture was inflated by compressed air and illuminated internally, twenty-four hours a day, by a 1,000-watt mercury vapour lamp, literally glowing in the dark. Ten metres high, the work was visible from both sides of Sydney Harbour.

Kozic’s figure had a startled, bewildered expression, intended to convey his confusion at the sensation of his own, new presence in the material world. His pug nose and misshapen body defied the principles of the Vitruvian man, his gaze locked into something fantastic, an unfolding of his own consciousness, an awe of the previously unimaginable.

Kozic’s exhibition commented on the division between art and popular culture, drawing on the legacy of Pop art and inspired by mass communication forms and the potentials of plastic as a material. These themes were echoed in the exhibition Contemporary Art Archive 3: MK Art, which featured the works of Maria Kozic.