About the Artist
Vanessa Allegra’s work examines womanhood in its many naked, quiet forms, showing society's ‘imperfect’ as simply normal. Her paintings are explorations in luscious colour and thick brush strokes, always hinting at something deeper. Something combining feminism with memory and flesh, and always marked by the distinctive harsh sunlight typical of the Australian coastline where Vanessa grew up. Lately, critics have noted parallels between Vanessa Allegra’s drawings and those of Gustav Klimt and Picasso. Though where theirs might objectify, Vanessa’s work takes ownership of the female body back, returning it to women.
“I draw women who have been paid fairly to bare their skin for life drawing purposes. I draw women who feel strong enough and empowered enough to bare themselves to me. And I often draw women without faces so that we cannot identify her, rather, we can identify with her. I draw the form I find most comfort in - my own.” - Vanessa Allegra
Vanessa studied drawing and grisaille techniques at the Brisbane Atelier and has been largely self-taught ever since. She spends her spare time with various rescued animals, fixing up an elegant old boat to use as a studio.
Awards and notable finalist exhibitions:
Finalist, 2023 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing
Overall Second Prize Winner, 2022, 1770 Art Show
Finalist, 2022, Lethbridge 20,000
Brisbane Portrait Prize Salon des Refuses exhibition 2021
Finalist, 2021, Lethbridge 20,000
Overall Major Prize Winner, 2019, 1770 Art Show
Christian Thomsen Painting Award 2018, Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Art Prize
Liquitex Sponsor Prize 2018, Aspire Gallery Foot Square Fine Art Competition, Brisbane
Overall Major Prize Winner 2017, Second Prize Open 2017, Mt Perry Fine Art Award
Highly Commended Open, Highly Commended Human Figure, 2017 Mary Valley Art Prize
Emerging Artist Award, 2016 Mary Valley Art Prize
Woodgate Arts In Spring 2022
Woodgate Arts In Spring 2021
Of Birds, 2020, Cross Gallery.
In Bloom, 2019, Tiny Tree Gallery, Brisbane.
Nature of Beauty, 2019, Gayndah and Mt Perry Regional Galleries
Brush to The Beat, 2018, MEC Bundaberg