She has already painted Elvis,The Beatles and Marilyn Monroe but now the American ‘Outsider Artist’ Natalie Irish has outdone herself with a portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge. This special painting utilises the thoroughly original technique of piling on lipstick and kissing the canvas, over 2000 times. The pressure is modified and varied to create a photographic technique.
The finished product is not dissimilar to that of Marcus Harvey‘s portrayal of the Moors murderer Myra Hindley. This notorious painting was created from handprints taken from a plaster cast of a child’s hand, and shown in the ‘Sensation’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in 1997. The painting had to be temporarily removed from display for repair after it was attacked in two separate incidents on the opening day, in which ink and eggs were thrown at it. The art critic, Richard Cork, wrote that: “Far from cynically exploiting her notoriety, Harvey’s grave and monumental canvas succeeds in conveying the enormity of the crime she committed. Seen from afar, through several doorways, Hindley’s face looms at us like an apparition. By the time we get close enough to realise that it is spattered with children’s handprints, the sense of menace becomes overwhelming.
Natalie Irish studied at the Galveston Arts Alliance, and attended the University of North Texas, where she studied metalsmithing and ceramics. She still continues to wok both in the fine and applied arts. Formally her achievements began with an award for ‘Best in District ‘at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Art Competition at the tender age of 5. Her website reveals: “She would go on to rank among the top contestants of the prestigious competition every year thereafter all the way through high school. She would then add to her long list of accolades several awards from the Galveston Arts Alliance before venturing off to the University of North Texas to study metalsmithing and ceramics. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. To say the least, young Natalie was a child prodigy. Her wizardry in drawing, painting, and sculpture truly showed no bounds. Her transcendent intellect, flowing blonde hair and angelic face simply added to her magnetism as a young artist. Her charm and philanthropic ways were indeed just the icing on the cake. Alas, it would later be cake itself that would one day try to destroy the promising girl wonder. One fateful October night Miss Irish was stricken with a debilitating and misunderstood disease that hospitalized her for weeks. It ultimately left her completely dependent on a machine that was to be attached to her body 24/7 in order for her to sustain life. When many would have given up all hope, Natalie Irish did not waiver. No, Miss Irish gained a miraculous sense of determination and resolve in her new life”.
Marcus Harvey Photo: White Cube Gallery London
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