“I felt the need to express my innermost thoughts and unable to do this through other means, the thing that came most naturally to me was scribbling with felt tips, crayons whatever I could get my hands on as a child. It all took off from there.”
At 25, Natasha Kissell took the art world by storm when the famed Saatchi Gallery purchased her entire Royal College of Art graduation show.
Natasha’s paintings are hyper realistic – you see the intimate details of a butterfly wing, individual tree branches, steel planks – but the juxtaposition of the objects are not – a modern house similar to her childhood home often sits in bucolic environs, or perched comfortably on the side of a snowy hill.
“You start off with your ideas, but then something completely different happens as the materials respond to your touch and you arrive at a completely different destination. This tactile quality leads to surprises which keep the whole process fresh and unlimited, taking me out of what I know and think to other thoughts and ideas.”
Her work is transcendental: they do not exist, but they are made of elements that do exist in their singularity. Put together, it is this unexpected, but deeply emotional, composition that she likes to describe as “Magical Realism.”
“Without ever introducing any human figures, Natasha Kissell’s works introduce very human feelings – romance, fear, excitement and wonder.” – Eleven Fine Art
But beyond just provoking a reaction, Natasha’s work is witty and intelligent. They show parallels between nature and civilization, the similarities of displacement in both modern and underdeveloped societies. And she does it with great beauty: vibrant colors and dreamlike optimism.
"Something magical happens with painting, it awakens your mental muscles. It's like a window and you leap into the world it represents. I love the lusciousness of brush marks."
Natasha is now a solid fixture in the London and New York art scenes, with past exhibitions at Gallery 10G (NY) and The Chambers Gallery (London). Deutsche Bank, HSBC, the Ovitz Family Collection and Knoxville Museum of Art are all collectors. Her imaginative depiction of utopia titled “Artificial Paradises” is currently showing at London’s Eleven Gallery through March 13.
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Credits: Jill Fortunoff Gerstenblatt, Gallery 10G, Dafydd Jones, Natasha Kissell