Natasha Wright

Natasha Wright is a New Zealand born artist based in New York.

Wright completed her MFA in 2018, sighting Canadian American painter Philip Guston (1913-1980) as one of her biggest influences – “We shared the same studio at the original sight of the Whitney Museum and his commitment to painting is a lineage I’m interested in carrying forward.”

Wright’s paintings critique the representation of women throughout history, incorporating a wide range of inspiration to create her own personal narrative. References to The Three Graces, ancient fertility goddesses, Matryoshka dolls and contemporary culture from advertisements and the pages of fashion magazines often weave their way into Wright’s paintings.

The paintings are rooted in the body, but take on abstract forms and shapes. Through painterly exploration, Wright has developed her own iconic language and emblematic representation of the female form.

The artist’s fascination with materials can be seen in the haptic surfaces she builds up. Paintings will often combine a wide range of materials such as mica, glass beads, sand and black magnum. Wright often uses a paired back pallet of rich golds, earth tones and a variety of different blacks.

The paintings have a playful openness and confidence that can be seen in the linear forms that emerge intuitively. Monochromatic lines often bring figures into sharp focus; the women Wright paints balance both the grotesque and the beautiful. They are not naive to the history and male subjectivity they inherit, claiming their space to discover who they are on their own terms.

My work explores the significance of the female body as icon.

“My practice probes the politics of the representation of the female form. Gender, sexuality, vulnerability and power, seduction and aggression – these dualities motivate the dynamics of my work.

The paintings reference the political and the personal. The representation of females throughout history is considered alongside contemporary references. The Venus of Willendorf, Mary Magdalena, The Three Graces and Cardi B are some of my many muses.

The women I paint balance the grotesque and beautiful.  They are not naive to the history and male subjectivity they inherit. They claim their space to discover who they are on their own terms.

The paintings create their own symbol of female power and energy. This not only involves the subject and composition but also the attitude in which they are made. To me, the approach is just as important as the subject.

The substance of paint becomes an analogy for the body. Paint is used as a metaphor to create a skin of human experience, an idiosyncratic personality both hidden and exposed.” – NW

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