Friday, 10 October 2014

Marlene Dumas (b.1953)

Marlene Dumas (born 1953).

Stem (2004) by Marlene Dumas

Taken from the exhibition by Marlene Dumas 'Measuring Your Own Grave' 2008 - 2009

I was fascinated to find out that Dumas works late into the early hours and I would be like that if I didn't have to work!

To me her work is reflective of recording experience of individuals, her work is instantly recognisable as the work is usually showing a figure or a face in a close up situation, there is often a neutral ground, she shows people at there most vulnerable and these images are disturbing and yet they are very sensual and force the viewer to confront these difficult situations and the only escape is to walk away or close your eyes.

Her work uses memories intermingled with public death, she uses her daughter as a model and victims of death and torture, not only does Dumas create oil paintings she also uses ink style watercolour images.

Dumas was born in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up under apartheid, she is the youngest of three children and she grow up on a farm, as she grew up she has a clear recollection of the issues of apartheid and how she was friends with a worker on the farm and yet they could never eat together.
Any form of media was strictly regulated and when Dumas was a child she would collect images of girls, models, cartoon characters, she created a fantasy life around these girls and loved to draw these characters.
When Dumas was twelve her Father died of Liver disease and it would be interesting to think that was a defining mark that is resonate in her work. Her work is about the human condition, she is a figurative painter who finds her subject matter from newspapers and magazines.
When I look at her work I see the humanity and are familiar, her brushstrokes seem very uncomplicated and there is an intuitive development that is observed in her work that makes it emotional. Her concentration on depicting death  reminds us all that we will all die and what we will lose when that day comes.

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