Lauren Mele

Lauren lives and works in London. She got her BFA at the Art Insitute of Boston (2008) and her MA in Contemporary Art History & Theory at the Sotheby’s institute of art (2012).

The statement from the artist:

Anxiety, hesitation, lust, and gluttony are never a step too far in any direction of my life. I work from memory; memories sidestep objectivity. Their visual manifestations are intensely personal and revealing. My work makes the fleeting essence of memory, tangible; the paintings put flesh to the bones of narrative. The unreliable and organic nature of recall makes for paintings that flirt with improvisation and result in vibrating and, in my case, anxiety laden energy. Working with concepts of femininity and the undercurrents that point to notions of the feminine, androgyny and feminist; my paintings unabashedly portray women delighted in their skins. Embracing flaws, sexuality and indulgence, they urge the viewer to engage with the unsavoury sides of themselves. Social labels of grotesque and lust associated with the body interest me, my figures explore the intricacies of the two.

“All the Girls in the Line for the Bathroom” Oil on Canvas, 40×50 (cms) 2016. All the aesthetic preparations that go in to a gritty night out inevitably ends up in a line for the bathroom. Debauchery, sleaziness and edge go hand in hand with the tweaked and teased elegance of getting ready to go out. Phones out, seedy reflections in a sticky floor; sweat and bodies congregating closely, intentionally and not. Everyone is in the rhythm of the night, in and out of synch with each other. Notes from art history can be seen here, figures imitating Picasso’s Demoiselles, suggesting femininity through the ages, is transient, a concept that breathes and exudes subjectivity.
“Girly” Oil on Linen, 55×65 (cms) 2018. This image of femininity sidesteps the pretty and puts gluttony on the table. Bodies sweaty and physical; flaws are exaggerated, embraced and flaunted. These figures, using myself as a physical point of reference, exude flamboyance and confidence, two attributes I strive for in my everyday but somehow suppress. The term ‘feminine’ should be flexible and fluid, say these figures, and more strongly associated with the term ‘feminist’. Society manages to keep the two concepts fairly disassociated, when in fact both should bring the word ‘robust’ to mind.
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