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This is a portrait of drag de jour Maxi Shield. Maxi is a well known performer and presenter and an absolute icon of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. She is an anti-violence safety ambassador, rugby union mascot and LGBTI community activist. Most recently, she was the official hostess for the 2016 Madonna Rebel Heart Tour’s Rebel Fleet VIPs.

Recently, Australian Director Gillain Armstrong released a documentary about the life and work of Orry-Kelly. Orry-Kelly was an Australian costume designer from Kiama (close to my home town) who made it big in Hollywood in the 1950s. However his biography was supressed by Cary Grant, due to the relationship the pair had… Orry-Kelly being opening gay, and Grant, well… not.

I have painted Maxi Shield as Marilyn Monroe in the most famous of Orry-Kelly costumes, the dress from the film "Some Like it Hot. In this portrait I have merged the two icons of Shield and Monroe into "Maxilyn”, paying homage to Orry-Kelly.

This portrait was a finalist in both the Mardi Gras Art Prize and Percival Portrait Prize.

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Oil on Canvas

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#pop art, #portrait, #Marilyn Monroe, #Maxi Shield, #LGBTI, #drag queen, #gay, #Australian, #Orry Kelly, #glamour, #glitz, #black, #gold, #star, #fashion, #Hollywood, #Mardi Gras, #portraiture, #Percival, #Sydney, #lesbian

All art by Melissa Ritchie

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