Cristina de Miguel

Paintings as records of the body and time.

Cristina de Miguel was born 1987 in Seville. She now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Early Years

De Miguel loved painting since she was a child. Seville, where she grew up, was inspirational. Full of sunshine and colour. During her undergrad, she was taught in a very classical and academic way. To find her own style, she returned to the freedom of childhood, a source of inspiration for many modernist painters also.

Studio

De Miguel's methods of working in her studio are indicative of the fact that she sees life and painting as synonymous. She is committed to regular working hours but also likes to take dance breaks to "keep the spirit alive." This spirit is palpable in her work.

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Collaborations with this artist

Practice overview

Vivaciously expressive paintings by Cristina de Miguel are full of playful drama. Elastic female bodies bend and stretch, alongside a host of hybrid creatures. Mermaids, animals, mythic beasts. Figures meld into the background – making the environment as important as individuality. The artist works in lots of ways. But in general, she creates a thin background wash which dries overnight. Then she applies many layers painted with brushes in acrylic and drawn by hand in oil stick. This is Miguel's M.O – materiality. The infinite qualities of paint prevail over the narratives they tell. That said, allegorical stories do emerge albeit subconsciously. And the artist intentionally leaves these open for the viewer to decipher. While her works have a papably neo-expressionist style, her influences are incredibly varied. From Peloponnesian war artifacts from ancient Greece to Baroque painting and social media.

Not only do the paintings portray bodies, but they are bodily in nature. Accidental paint splatters, drips and fingerprints are extensions of the artist herself. "I am very interested in looking at a painting and feeling the body making those marks. The timing: parts that are slow and parts that happen very fast. Experiencing marks as time recorders." This is clear in the fact that de Miguel often paints with her large-scale canvases on the floor. So the gestures are created with many different muscles. Biceps, quads, core. As such, each brushstroke or meandering line is a document. A record of the body doing something in time.

“Paintings have the right to be anything the painter wants them to be.” Cristina De Miguel