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Inspiring People (John B.)

Inspiring People (John B.), 2018 - Sarah Margnetti

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Inspiring People (John B.), 2018

Sarah Margnetti  

30 x 30 cm / 11.81 x 11.81 inch
Unique painting in a series of 10 variations, signed by the artist

  • Medium: Oil paint on MDF
  • This work is ready to be installed - no frame needed
  • This work ships in 5 to 10 business days from Brussels (BE)

about this work

In the context of her recent commission for our public project A Temporary Monument for Brussels, Sarah Margnetti painted a series of small panels in oil paint, each with a yellow nose on an imitation wooden base. These small paintings bring together both Margnetti’s signature fragmentation of the human body as well as an optical illusion of matriality.

In her trompe l'oeil painting of the wood, Margnetti plays with the knots in wood that look like eyes. These are each time paired with one nose, painted in a distinct yellow – refering to the generic skin colour of the original yellow emoticon. The noses Margnetti painted belong to a people she finds inspirational, and belong to famous artists such as John Baldessari, Judy Chicago or Kiki Kogelnik – with whom she had an amazing exhibition at Salts, Basel – but also writer-poet Kathy Acker and several close artist-friends of Sarah Margnetti. 

about Sarah Margnetti

The work of Sarah Margnetti focuses on both the fragmentation of the human body as on the optical illusion of matriality. It is this trompe l'oeil technique of painted matriality that brought Margnetti to Brussels – to the Van der Kelen-Logelain Institute, where she received the technical training that characterises her virtuoso painting style. This Brussels-based school was founded in the 19th century and is the only one in the world that focuses on traditional techniques of decorative painting - where students learn to imitate the matriality of a large number of different types of wood and marble in a painterly way.

The seemingly massive matriality of Sarah Margetti's paintings contrasts sharply with the temporarity that characterizes much of her work. Many of her paintings originate in situ - in a specific exhibition context in which the murals exist only for a limited time before they are painted over, and thus disappear.

Sarah Margnetti's trompe l'oeil painting technique uses imitation marble and wood, as a background for - and as an covering of - fragmented body parts. The painted facial features such as noses and ears, but also body parts such as breasts and buttocks, show an objectification and commodification of the human - above all female - body, and the alienating anonymity that is part of this process.

Sarah Margnetti has recently been awarded the prestigious Swiss Art Prize. Her work has been shown internationally, including at venues such as SATLTS, Basel; Deborah Bowmann, Brussels;  Le Commun, Geneva; Zabriskie Point, Geneva; and Swiss Institute, Rome.

You can see more of her work on Sarah Margnetti’s own website

Learn more about this artist