Founding CEO 2008

YVONNE TODD [b.1973 Aotearoa New Zealand]

Lightjet print
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Purchased 2008 with funds from the Dunedin City Council

Yvonne Todd is best known for her photographic portraits that share their aesthetic with the techniques and outcomes of commercial photography, yet also appear awkward, unsettling and often funny. Todd plays with expectations and stereotypes, carefully constructing the character that sits in front of her camera – where costume, performance and staging become very important tools. Founding CEO (2008) acts as a precursor to a body of work Todd made in 2009, called The Wall of Man. Appearing as a suite of corporate portraiture, this series focused on 12 businessmen, their roles specified in the title of each work – Chief Financial Officer, Family Doctor, Retired Urologist. The authenticity of the image is manipulated, as each ‘businessman’ is not shown as they are in real life, nor do the titles provide any specific details beyond labelling a generic role. In reality, these sitters are first-time models that responded to an ad that Todd placed in the North Shore Times in March 2009. The ad read: Models/Talent. MEN AGED APPROX 65-75 required by Shore photographer to model suits/jackets. No previous experience necessary. Generous hourly rates. Please call [number removed]. Over forty men replied to the ad, with a smaller group hired to embody the characters that Todd had created. 

+Emily Hartley-Skudder
Staging Your Comeback 2020
Found carpet, PVC wall stickers, wall paint, found and fabricated furniture, oil on linen, found fireplace surround and electric wood embers, MDF, pine and aluminium trim
Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Smart Gallery

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