If Whip It taught us anything about bruises it's that they should be worn as badges of honor. Those bloody blossoms that unfurl beneath the epidermis represent grit and determination in the rink and outrank any championship trophy in terms of badassery. Oh yeah. And the bigger, the better.
These notions are exactly what Finnish born, Helsinki based artist Riikka Hyvönen is currently sling shotting to the public. Her large scale pop-kitsch-hyperrealistic paintings are inspired by actual photos of some of the gnarliest bruises, whelps and wounds earned by killer clans of roller derby babes. At first glance the injuries appear to be far away galaxies and nebulae -- an ever-expanding stretch of jaundice yellows and goose egg purples -- until you realize they are talking up residence on a nice juicy butt cheek or thigh.
Referring to the bruises as "kisses", Hyvönen's aim is to objectify these women as they objectify themselves. Since roller derby is one of the only contact sports for women, it's important to convey the communal spirit, ferocity and pride of the players. She even titles her works with captions the derbyers post with their pictures online. Things like: "I Have a Really Beautiful Bruise On My Bum. Do You Want To See A Pic? It Has 12 Colours And Is the Size Of My Head."
NO PAIN NO GAIN, amiright?
Follow Riikka Hyvönen on Instagram: @riika.hyvonen