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Boty: The Life and Times of a Forgotten Artist

Pauline Boty is one of the most important artists of the 20th Century and a trailblazer in woman’s art and the burgeoning feminism movement of the 1960’s. Often cited as being the ‘forgotten artist ‘of the British art scene of the 1960’s, Pauline Boty’s story has been clouded by her tragic early death from a rare form of lymphatic cancer at the age of 28 and subsequent relative obscurity compared to her peers.

Pauline Boty hardly gets a mention any book, documentary or article written or made on the Sixties. At best, she has become merely a curious footnote in other more celebrated artist’s stories. Whereas the truth is she was a key player in a lot of the cultural change that was happening in London in the first half of the most culturally important decade there has been on these shores.

Within her art she analysed, subverted and skewered pop culture and major political events. Included within her paintings / collages are many of the most famous people and events of that time, such as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Christine Keeler, the JKF assassination and the Cuba crisis amongst many others.

 Asked why she did this, Boty replied that is because Pop Art is ‘Nostalgia for now…’

 Boty’s art stands shoulder to shoulder with any produced in London from 1960-1966, and for that reason alone a brighter light should be shone on to the story of her short life and magnificent art. If ever there was a case of ‘what might have been’ it can be applied to the painter Pauline Boty and now is the right time for her full story to be told.

Associated Members

Greg Thompson, Independent Filmmaker