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Leigh Ledare: Children Drawings (2012, ongoing)

The Children drawings are an ongoing series Ledare started to make in 2012.

For each work, Ledare invited a different three-year-old child to draw in oil pastels directly over an image of his mother.
The recurring image is an outtake from Pretend You’re Actually Alive, a photograph taken in 2006 of his mother lying nude on top of a floral duvet, her legs spread.

Given that the child is considered too young to read an image that an adult viewer inevitably understands as pornographic, Ledare suggests that the development of sexual morality is something taught by society. The child’s scribbles are simultaneously gestures of self-expression and the markings of an omnipotence over the image, transforming Ledare mother’s figure into an effigy and acting in such a way to censor it.

Leigh Ledare
Monti, 2019
oil stick on c-print
127 × 101.5 cm
(50 × 39 3/8 in.)


Leigh Ledare
Clementine, 2013
oil stick on c-print
127 × 101.5 cm
(50 × 39 3/8 in.)

Leigh Ledare
Simon, 2013
oil stick on c-print
127 × 101.5 cm
(50 × 39 3/8 in.)

Leigh Ledare
Juliette, 2013
oil stick on c-print
127 × 101.5 cm
(50 × 39 3/8 in.)

Leigh Ledare
Jeanne, 2013
oil stick on c-print
127 × 101.5 cm
(50 × 39 3/8 in.)