Justine and the Shades, Danceteria

About Colette

A prominent figure in the downtown New York scene of the 1970s, Colette’s multimedia work has influenced major artists and musicians, including Cindy Sherman and Madonna. Colette began working on the streets of SoHo, creating constructed photographic works that functioned as pastiches of painting genres, and lavish installations of bunched fabrics, pushing Victorian or Rococo interiors to postmodern extremes. In all of her work, Colette worked under the guise of performative personas that explore issues of the body, gender, and representation. Wearing extravagant costumes, she performed, live, and slept in her installations; she even once staged her own death at the downtown Whitney Museum. “I thought of myself as ‘post conceptual’ because I persisted and believed strongly in the power of symbols,” she said. “My work was putting less emphasis on the intellect alone. I sought unity of body, mind, and soul, in my life and art.”

Tunisian-American, Tunis, Tunisia, based in New York, New York

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
Me, Myself and I, Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin
1993
Inbetween, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy