Object Image


This painting depicts a woman who was stripped and molested by a group of men in Nairobi because they thought she was indecently dressed. This is one of a number of attacks since 2014 that sparked protests and the hashtag #mydressmychoice. After watching a video of the attack on twitter, Armitage was reminded of Diego Velazquez's The Rokeby Venus (1647-51) in which a reclining nude faces away from the viewer. By emphasising this pose, Armitage's painting draws an uneasy connection between an online video of an attack and the representation of women in art. In a device common in historic painting two bush babies look out towards us, drawing attention to and returning the viewer's gaze.

Private ...

Oil on lugubo bark cloth
149.9 x 195.6cm

Where you'll find this

Turner Contemporary
Permanent collection