Alexis Hunter

The Model’s Revenge III

The Model’s Revenge III by Alexis Hunter

Artwork Detail

The Model’s Revenge is a key example of New Zealand’s feminist art; combining self-portraiture, feminist conceptual performance, nudity and sensual provocation. In her 1974 photo-narrative, made while she was living briefly in San Francisco, Alexis Hunter reveals how nakedness is never gender neutral. She understood that nude images are always loaded with associations that may conjoin sexuality, gender and the problematic heritage of the male gaze.

In these 3 vertical self-portraits, Alexis Hunter visually acts out a mini-drama between a fictionalised encounter with another; entailing the viewer to assume a relational role as the photograph’s spectator. This triptych is politicised because it confirms how the visual stereotyping of gender role can distort the representation of women. Hunter, the artist, takes control of her relationship with viewers by both shifting and provoking received gender roles.

The artist’s nudity is juxtaposed with the fact that she holds a Glock Safe Action Locked Breach pistol; a dangerous weapon that has become known as America’s favourite handgun. The weapon’s presence mirrors the fact that a volatile interaction is occurring between model and viewer.

The gun becomes the artist’s self-confident plaything; its contrast with her naked body is both transgressive and sexualised. The artist’s articulation of the black steel pistol is presented as a fetishized object, initially it is goading and threatening, subsequently it is protective and then, finally, it is shown as at rest.

The Model’s Revenge III
Alexis Hunter
Production date
black and white photograph, gelatin silver print
508 x 610 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2017
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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