Creative Events | Sarah Muirhead | 'SCOPOPHILIA' | Art Exhibition 4 Oct – 4 November 2017 | London | Leyden Gallery | Art Jobs

Sarah Muirhead | 'SCOPOPHILIA' | Art Exhibition 4 Oct – 4 November 2017

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Following her previous sell out 2015 show 'Bonded' at Leyden Gallery, these new paintings are exhibited for the first time in Muirhead’s eagerly anticipated second solo exhibition. 

For over a year, Muirhead has been working on a collection of images that explore the fetishisation of people we adore or lust after. In her current series of work titled ‘Scopophilia’, Muirhead explores both the beholder’s gaze and the corporeal process of painting.

Through a psychoanalytic lens, Muirhead’s paintings focus on depictions of professional extroverts (often performers) who offer an expanded creative field by which to illustrate the feelings and desires of an introvert – namely the artist.

“Each subject appears realistic, touchable and tangible but their incarnation is unreal, unreachable”, says Muirhead. 

This idealised subject at once appears frozen — as if a beautiful mirage — yet is also physical and bodily. Her subjects become objectified, dehumanised icons, and as such revisit and reconfigure an ancient visual path littered with tormented and beatified religious icons, and the love they engendered.  

The new series of paintings in ‘Scopophilia’ represent the artist’s attempt to paint and draw her own voyeuristic tendencies, recording and celebrating her beautiful friends who represent different sub-cultures, creative movements and alternative expressions of self. This latest work is part of a long-standing practice and a wider meditation on the representation of gender and sexuality. It examines the concept of ‘a perfect glass wall’ between us and the people we observe. 

As Muirhead says: “I want there to be a glimmer of the real person being objectified, idealised or fetishised. The representational side of the work should still be a kind of documentation of people under my spotlight.”

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