Roller derby is a fucking brutal sport. Whipping around a track on roller skates while another team tries to knock you off your feet is going to result in some very visible injuries. And when you fall, on roller skates…well, we all know what part of the body takes the brunt of the impact.
Roller derby is brutal! Check out these awesome psychedelic 3D paintings based off photographs of epic roller derby butt bruises.
In her series, Roller Derby Kisses, Riikka Hyvönen exposes these battle scars in a beautifully cosmic multimedia format.
Large bruises are so common in roller derby that they are nicknamed “kisses” by players. Working off photographs of these injuries, Hyvönen reimagined them on a massive scale, using acrylic and glitter on MDF and leather to create psychedelic 3D paintings.
Describing her process and purpose, Hyvönen explains:
“This project began from a realisation: I wanted to capture the momentary marks, the bruises, that are seen in a completely different light in the mainstream culture than inside the subculture of derby players. That’s where my investigation of the psychology of bruises started.
For me, roller derby is really all about the community, and the mesmerizing subculture that has sprung from it. If a derby player gets hit in the game, she wants to show her bruised bum for her team members on the side of the track (and then reach some well-deserved admiration on the internet). These bruises are called derby kisses — kisses from derby. They are little love bites and badges of honour.”
As Dangerous Minds note, she sees her work as voyeuristic, yet in a very self-aware way:
“I believe these images are charged with (mental) strength. They show that the player’s bodies can take the hits yet overcome the pain and still continue to play. Obviously, I am objectifying these women totally. But I am doing it exactly the way they objectify themselves: their big and strong bums are assets and to be carried with pride.”
Each piece’s title is based off the captions that the photographers provided, complete with hashtags and hilarious anecdotes.
Check out the series below (they’re kinda NSFW) and read more about it here.