In roller derby, a bruise is much more than just a bruise. It’s a badge of honour. A sign that you gave as good as you got and played a rad match.
Derby girls have always shared their war scars with each other, but now London-based artist Riikka Hyvönen is taking that trend one step further – by turning these bruises into works of art.
The paintings are created by taking photos of derby girls bruises and recreating them in glitter and acrylic of huge MDF and leather canvases.
The outcome is pretty impressive, but is Hyvönen’s work slightly reductive in their showcasing of sporty women at best and totally objectifying them at worst?
“Obviously, I am objectifying these women totally. But I am doing it exactly in the way they objectify themselves,” Hyvönen told The Finnish Institute In London.
“I believe these images are charged with (mental) strength. They show that the player’s bodies can take the hits yet overcome the pain and still continue to play.”
We love the aggressive spirit of roller derby and the way that these portraits do convey both the mental and physical strength needed in every match – but we’re still not sure of what we think of the objectification involved.
What do you think? Is this a strong, artistic and feminist statement using women’s bodies or not? Let us know your thoughts.
One thing we can all agree on, however, is roller derby girls are as rad and as gnarly as they come!