Arcadia Contemporary- “FIVE AND UNDER” opening August 17th, Pasadena, CA
Meyer Gallery- “Making Her Mark” opening August 24th, Park City, Utah
SEPTEMBER 13 – 19, 2019
ARTIST RECEPTION: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 5-7PM
Solo show “CRAFTY B*TCH”— a trompe l’oeil collage show at Meyer Gallery, Santa Fe NM.
Natalie Featherston’s Collage-Style Paintings “Fool the Eye” with Hyperrealism
and Whimsical Illusion
Santa Fe, NM (May 15, 2019): Contemporary realist painter Natalie Featherston brings a unique voice to the traditional trompe l'oeil style, in which artists create illusions of three- dimensional objects or perspectives with hyperrealist imagery. Featherston modernizes this centuries-old style with witty narratives and contemporary themes, tricking the viewer into seeing crumpled paper or layered objects instead of a flat painted surface. For her upcoming solo show at Meyer Gallery, Featherston presents a series of trompe l’oeil paintings that depict intricate collages, which the artist first creates in her studio with found objects. The resulting “still life” paintings deceive the viewer, who must observe the work closely to confirm its two-dimensionality. “Crafty B*tch: Trompe L'oeil Paintings of Natalie Featherston,” opens with an Artist Reception on Friday, September 13th from 5-7pm.
Featherston’s exhibition title, “Crafty B*tch” references her collage-style subject matter, distinct humor and the clever deceit of trompe l'oeil painting. “I use my technical skill and the confusion of whether or not it's painted to draw the viewer in,” says Featherston. “That's the point of using trompe l'oeil for me personally - it's slow art, waiting for the "joke" to come across, and then connecting with the viewer when it does.”
For her exhibition paintings, Featherston first constructed an intricate collage model in her studio using found objects, vintage photos, paper cutouts, embroidery and beads. The collage, which is eventually disbanded, is typically a playful composition with active characters. Featherston then paints this creation directly from life with painstaking realism, which the Chicago Sun Times has described as “artful beyond just illusion and trickery...truly masterful...made with both craft and wit.”
The narratives for many of Featherston’s exhibition paintings revolve around a female protagonist as she introduces a cowgirl motif and also an embroidered photo series. For the latter, Featherston sourced vintage photographs of women, which she then embroidered with thread, glued with beads or sewed with ribbon. These assemblages became the models for her paintings “Lover’s Eye,” “Mariposa,” “Lacrimosa,” and “Bound,” which reveal slight feminist undertones.
Other narratives we can expect from Featherston’s collage-style paintings involve musical rabbits, sugar skull weddings and alien encounters. “I strive to make my trompe l'oeil style interesting, engaging and different, while bringing my own personality and feeling into the painting,” says Featherston. “There’s plenty of darkness in the world - I want to make paintings that spark joy and connect with the viewer in a meaningful way.”