A Souvenir for Millais
'This drew me in through its plaintive note in the 'Made in Arts, London' of recent graduate work, so I wasn't surprised that the folk costume of Slovakia is used 'as a metaphor to represent the communist ideal of utopia', emphasising the artificiality of nostalgia for the surface of a time which glossed over the underlying dystopic. And the layers go back further, as the pose of the artists daughter is taken from John Everett Millais's 'A Souvenir of Velazquez' 1868, itself inspired by Velazquez's mid 17th century portraits of the infanta Maria Margarita in line with Millais general tendency to use children to trigger thoughts of transience'
Paul Carey-Kent. Sept 2019 (Former editor of Art World magazine and now writes for Art Monthly, Frieze among others)
Oil on canvas, 120 x 90 cm