Details & Cataloguing

Natasha Law
B. 1970
signed, titled and dated 07 on the reverse
household gloss on aluminium
125 by 125cm.; 49¼ by 49¼in.
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Eleven Gallery, London

Catalogue Note

How do you approach the act of painting?
There are always a few images floating around in my mind that I want to try and recreate as a painting. Usually I get interested in capturing the body involved in an action or activity that I can 'still' for a brief second and zoom in on. In that process of freezing a moment something happens to make it almost epic, or at least poignant - or at least that's how I feel about them! I take photos and collect photos found in magazines - any bit of imagery that catches my eye - often these never get used but they can stay in my mind and a feature can find its way into a painting, either as a colour combination or as a mood or theme that I find I want to develop. The process of trying to recapture or recreate something of that mood with models then takes it off in a new direction, on a tangent all of it's own as they bring their own interpretations of what I describe to them to the piece and take the idea in a direction that is personal to them. I rely on that vagueness between what I describe and what they understand from that to capture something unique to each person I draw. At the point when I transfer the drawing to the metal and work out the painting it all changes again - and the scale and crop starts to have an impact on what kind of piece it's going to be.

What is impetus behind your work?
I remain hugely influenced by the documentary; disposable direction photography took in the 1990s emerging out of Japan. Actually many of my influences are photographic - Annelies Struba, Valerie Philips - capturing the female body in very casual moments. I get drawn to colour and meeting of shapes and colours in a kind of magpie way. Legs in socks, arms out of t-shirts, body against a patterned sofa - maybe that's just part of being alive in the 20th century.

How would you sum up your oeuvre?
There is no way that I can claim to belong to any particular movement - no matter how much I'd like to. I have left college and worked on my paintings for the past decade in total isolation.  The biggest source of encouragement I get comes from stumbling across people working in a way that strikes a chord of recognition - the Flat art movement in Japan and the meeting of graphic and fine art. I love Jun Hasegawa, Kyoko Murase and Yoshitomo Nara. But there are painters going back to Tom Wesselmann who also strike a chord in how they had fun with the graphics and shapes a body can be composed of and contemporaries such as Cecily Brown, Elizabeth Peyton, and Vanessa Beecroft. Perhaps in the end though there is a very long and old tradition of female nudes to which I am just adding my own take.
(Natasha Law in Conversation, 2007)

Contemporary Art