Observations: Natasha and Daisy create the ultimate in toxic divas
Friday 27 March 2009
We've all met someone like this: a selfish, demanding diva, a high-maintenance, self-obsessed person who comes into your life and causes all sorts of unnecessary drama. And now, in their first exhibition together, the artists Natasha Law and Daisy de Villeneuve have created a fictional character based on those unflattering qualities. No Love Lost, at Eleven Fine Art gallery in London (1 April to 2 May), explores the darker, more toxic side of friendship and the bitter edge of women's relationships.
"We've both come across girls like it in our past lives, so we thought it would be a good topic," De Villeneuve explains. "Natasha paints girls and I draw girls so it works well. The character is mysterious so I haven't given her a name. It's all very ambiguous; the viewer can make up the narrative for themselves."
Law, older sister of the actor Jude, continues: "I've thought about those girls you've given time to and it has worked well at one stage in your life, but children and other commitments make you realise that you're never going to be able to give them enough. You end up wondering if they're your friend or your worst enemy."
For De Villeneuve – known for her funky felt-tip illustrations, which have adorned everything from Topshop shoeboxes and Moët & Chandon packaging to Nike campaigns and book covers – the exhibition has given her an opportunity to experiment with other mediums, such as black India ink.
Alongside the large works, both artists are showing scribbles, pages of notebooks and small paper pieces. "I've really enjoyed doing the casual drawings and cutting out bits of paper," says Law, whose signature style is sleek semi-nudes on aluminium. "It's been really nice to work on a smaller scale and I'm hoping that these pieces will fill in more of the details about the character." She is aiming for her work to be messier than usual. "My portraits are usually detached versions of me or people I know, which can stray into the pretty, so for the show I've tried to make them uglier, slightly grotesque and jarring."
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