An exhibition inspired by the recent controversy miring the Essendon Football Club has been praised as a vital piece of social commentary.
Peptides: Prominent football identities... and also is a series of portraits of well-known figures related to the saga, which opened at RMIT Library ahead of the one-year anniversary of the allegations first coming to light.
The exhibition by RMIT Adjunct Professor Stephen Alomes was commended by fine arts curator and art historian Dr Chris McAuliffe as an evocative reimagining of some of contemporary sport's most infamous characters.
Dr McAuliffe said Peptides was doing exactly "what art should do" in its reflection of contentious views and values.
Speaking at an exploration of the exhibition this month, the former director of Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne said the works sought to "freeze frame the hubbub of media imagery", with such "frozen images" empowering the viewer to think about the situation of sport today.
"Such thoughtful paintings, while not resolving sport's problems, allow us to be more thoughtful about them," he said.
Through the exhibition, Professor Alomes summons the traditions of expressionism to explore the insightful disconnect between the level of fame and physical agency of AFL celebrities, including coaches and administrators.
"Expressionist portraits depict characters possessed of the suggested auras associated with powerful and famous individuals," he said.
Stephen Alomes is an Adjunct Professor in the RMIT Globalism Research Centre.
He has written nine books on contemporary Australian society and culture, including Australian Football: The People's Game 1958-2058 exploring how "football heroes" became "celebrities".
The exhibition is now showing at the RMIT Library on the City campus and has been extended to Friday, 21 February.