Lot 94 - Natasha Michaels - Likeness I
Monoprint on Paper
A6 (10x15cm) Original Artwork
Signed on Verso
The origins of Natasha Michaels recent monoprints lie in historical paintings from the renaissance to the 19th century. Exploring, challenging and reinterpreting traditional conventions and genres, Michaels’ work is an investigation of her own ambivalence towards the originals. At once subverting and celebrating, she uses her own expressive language to recast and direct the sitters, reimagining them as fictional characters .
Playfully undermining the originals with a simple cartoonish change of their features, the figures appear interrupted from their original purpose, reclaiming their space and hinting at a boundary being crossed into their privacy. They are often lost in thought , self-conscious or uneasy; as if the painter has stopped painting for a moment and they have been caught in a moment of uncomfortable introspection.The subjects can appear anxious or perplexed as Michaels plays with ideas of power , gender and artifice. directing the viewer to consider their status.
Michaels process adds to this unstable mutant world. Beginning with the reversal of the original image. Gestural brushstrokes, slips and smears combined with the sharp boundaries of the cut alluminium plates reveal strange chimeras on the paper . Unsettlingly recognisable yet unfamiliar , they hover between high art and pop culture. Michaels makes multiple versions of each print as if engaged in a conversation with the original sitters and the emerging versions of themselves.
BA Central St Martins MA Royal College of Art
Recently exhibited at the Everywoman biennial, Woolwich contemporary, Royal Academy summer show Purslane art, Jealous gallery and Rabley gallery.
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