Sarah Ball (et al.) at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
There is a milky evanescence to this mesmerising portrait by British artist Sarah Ball, and the longer I stood in front of it, the more it was drawing me in.
There is nothing conventional or normal about Emma. Look at the size of the head, the length and thickness of the white eyelashes, the texture of the hair, the clownish quality of her makeup, the uber plump lips. Her shimmery face is odd and beautiful, her eyes aloof and alluring. She looks fake but feels real, her gaze is distant yet engaging. Rendered almost surreal by the pastel palette, Emma the uncanny is floating off the canvas, and I simply couldn't keep my eyes off of her.
Ball is one of the 16 contemporary female artists brought together by this show, which is curated by Katy Hessel of the Great Women Artist fame. I shall be writing more about this exhibition because of another artist, Deborah Roberts, whose extraordinary collage work really struck me for originality and power.
'From Near and Far’ is at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London until July 23rd.
Oil on linen
© the artist