Too good to be true

JVDW, Düsseldorf
08.12.22 – 31.12.22

A work of fiction, Oil on canvas, 60x50cm

The repentant Magdalena, Oil on canvas, 60x50cm

The Venus effect, Oil on canvas, 60x50cm

Paola, Oil on canvas, 60x50cm

Gender Reveal, Oil on canvas, 38x28cm

Too good to be true (1), Oil on canvas, 23x18cm

Point of terror (1971), Oil on canvas, 23x18cm

Mon oeil, Oil on canvas, 23x18cm

Inferno, Oil on canvas, 23x18cm

Peeping, Oil on canvas, 100x80cm

Hausu, Oil on canvas, 100x80cm

Old erotic magazines from the 60s and 70s, movies, extracted film stills and found footage serve as the basis and source of inspiration for her paintings. Being drawn to very staged and artificial appearing images and scenes, it is no surprise that the color blue remains dominant in many of her paintings. Her choice of colors mainly represents the night and artificial light, creating a cinematographic atmosphere that can easily be associated with a certain kind of loneliness and mysterious mood.

Godeau’s work circulate around ideas of femininity and identity, challenging the terms as the clearly defined binary concepts that society views them as. The paintings for Too good to be true deal with the perception of the other and the act of self-dramatization, resulting from consumed content and learned ideals. Whether it is a painting of a woman literally trying to wash out her eyes from the advertising and images she has consumed, or a painting of a piece of paper with a catchy slogan aimed at selling photographs of women—Godeau holds up a mirror to society with a humorous wink, questioning its notion of femininity and womanhood and critiquing the truncated portrayal of women in the mass media, which often reduces them to something consumable.

By citing these images, playing with clichés and placing them in new contexts and relations, Godeau also reflects on her own gendered gaze and interest in the representation of women and invites the viewer to do the same.

– Amira Hartmann