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Spanish artist and LGBTIQA+ rights activist Roberta Marrero dies

Spanish artist, musician and LGBTIQA+ rights activist Roberta Marrero has died aged 52.

Her work as an illustrator saw her mix and decontextualise images from popular culture giving them new meanings.

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Her first book Dictadores, which was published in 2015, saw her take images of totalitarian leaders and add elements of pop culture, the results were Chinese leader Mao Zedong surrounded by people whose faces have been obscured by Hello Kitty stickers, or an image of Francisco Franca depicted in a style similar to the cover of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album.

Her follow up work El bebé verde: infancia, transexualidad y héroes del pop, was a graphic novel that recounted her childhood and experiences as a person who was transgender. It focussed on movies and music that had inspired her in her youth, with a particular focus on Boy George.

Her work was featured in many international exhibitions and in 2016 she called out fashion designer Vivienne Westwood who had inadvertently copied one of her works. Westwood apologised.

Alongside her work as a visual artist Marrero also released two albums of electro-pop and worked as a DJ in Spanish nightclubs.

Marrero spoke to The Advocate in 2014 and their report has a gallery of her work that includes references to comic book superheroes, Disney characters, drag superstar Divine, 1950’s body builders, religious iconography, Joan Crawford and Andy Warhol’s Factory crew.

See more of Robertas Marrero’s work at her website.


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGEDinfo@discharged.asn.au / discharged.asn.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au

Image: Self portrait by the artist taken in 2020 for the exhibition “Con tres heridas yo” at the Reina Sofía Museum. Published via a Creative Commons 4.0 License.

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