Like a snake
Transfer/painting on aluminum
Berit Myreboee, 2010
Norwegian artist Berit Myreboee's aluminum transfer paintings are like troubled seaside dreams: tattooed skin dissolves into floating tendrils and tentacles of black and prussian blue. Each image is the product of an idiosyncratic layering process, first laying on photographs, then painting over them with saturated oils.
Since Myreboee's "canvas" is highly polished aluminum, the final paintings absorb and reflect a distorted version of their surroundings, like the surface of dark water. She says, "an interesting aspect of my technique is how it works in different areas, if you have a living room with a red sofa, the picture becomes red because it involves the colour and movement that is happening onto the aluminium."
According to the press release for her exhibition "Skin Deep," Myreboee is inspired by coastlines in her native Norway and in Australia, where she's completed several artists' residencies. This aquatic influence is hardly surprising; shimmering aluminum would inevitably evoke water, and the ghostly reflections of faces, hands and curved backs are powerfully reminiscent of folktales about water spirits, selkies, and merfolk. I'd like to view her work in person, to fully appreciate how onlookers' reflections must echo and mirror the bodies in the paintings, until the audience becomes part of the legend.