The weary narrator of Jay McInerney’s hedonistic novel ‘Model Behaviour’ muses that the breasts of his fashion model lover are only truly eroticised in his imagination, however delectable they might seem in the flesh. From this, he draws the conclusion that sex is merely the raw material for an aesthetic event, fashioned from our repertoire of sexual memories.
While the doubting narrator struggles to balance invention and reality, Paola Ciarska revels, excites and rejoices in the unrestrained potential of imagination. Each miniature painting stars a solitary figure, often wielding a selfie-stick, living out a virtual fantasy from the comfort of her living room (or sometimes the kitchen bench). The viewer is turned into a voyeur, spying on the indulgent private moments of an anonymous anti-hero that could easily be any one of us.
The paintings have a physical presence that far exceeds their small scale. Each work is packed with painterly detail. Rooms are filled with the trinkets of modern life, decorated with reproductions of modern masters and adorned with fairy-lights, all set against a psychedelic (and mildly suggestive) patterned background. Ciarska enjoys the labour of a marathon painting session, getting lost in the haze of its intricate, obsessive application.
Since graduating from Newcastle University in Summer 2016, Paola Ciarska has exhibited at the Kingsgate Gallery in London, and at the Exchange Rates Exposition in New York, as well as being involved in several projects in and around the North East, including at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. In June 2016 she was awarded the Hatton Purchase Prize, with one of her paintings becoming part of Hatton Gallery Collection.
An exhibition across two venues, which continues at Globe Gallery, located a short walk away on Pilgrim Street
Globe Gallery, 47 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE
from 10 February 2017
All works will be available for sale.
All images are untitled
gouache on board, 18 x 13cm
Prices on application
Open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 5pm
Closed Sunday, Monday and Bank Holidays