• Laura Vautour

Harriet Shankster


European artist Harriet Shankster juxtaposes contemporary portraiture of male figures with elegant and airy florals.

Creating tension, the repetition of pattern in the male's clothing and unique use of colour in the delicately painted flowers are in competition with each other. Her brilliant representation of the male figure holds the viewer's notions in question by portraying it through an uncommon lens. Shankster prompts the viewer to reconsider their biases by merging the foreground and middle ground, offering a sense of unity throughout the works. This preconceived disparity between subject matter encourages a thoughtful and calculated presentation. The linework depicted in the folds of fabric of each figure's clothing overlapping with the folds in each flower provoke a visceral response, enticing us to reach out to grab a flower petal or stroke the texture of the fabric. Shankster's figures hold contemplative, introspective poses urging the viewer to rethink what it means to be masculine. 

Shankster proposes a new way of interpreting the traditional masculine/feminine dichotomy while creating stunningly realistic figures and florals. Her thoughtful application of paint eliminates traditional barriers and presents a new, refreshing perspective.