Victoria Szilagyi - February 2015

Roller Derby

The human figure in art, particularly the female form, has traditionally been created by and for the consumption of men. Only in the last century have a small percentage of women found their voice by becoming artists and authors representing their own sex. Even so, self manufactured female images are frequently more socially accepted by the overall misogynist culture when women choose to objectify themselves sexually or cast themselves in the microcosm of culturally permissible roles of mother, wife or sister, wherein their value lies only in relation to another, rather than on their own well deserved merit.

Roller Derby is unique because it evolved from a form of sports entertainment, into a legitimate international sport dominated by female players and female leagues. Though they have still maintained theatrical character names as well as flamboyant and brilliant clothing and uniforms, they are under consideration for the 2020 Olympics. With a tongue in cheek approach including elements of camp, kitsch and the tradition of figurative painting, Szilagyi playfully pits her roller derby characters as soldiers on the front line against the "War on Women."

Victoria Szilagyi is a Chicago based visual artist and performer. The daughter of Hungarian immigrants, Szilagyi descends from a family of traditional Hungarian artisan woodworkers and musicians. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited in various shows locally, nationally and internationally. Her visual art includes painting in both oil and encaustic, drawings, embroidery and ceramic sculpture.

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