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Cristina de Miguel - Artists - Fredericks & Freiser

Portrait by Cary Whittier 

Cristina de Miguel

The Spanish artist makes powerfully expressive figurative paintings built upon a network of art historical affinities, mythological allusions, and energy-filled brushwork.  In her work, formal necessity and intuition overshadow the typical hierarchies of defining a figure. De Miguel insists on the materiality of the painting by fragmenting the figure so that it is no longer the central point of the painting, but the act of painting itself. 


At the heart of this work is de Miguel’s ability to reconcile opposite concepts. Her figures are by turns, dignified and debased. The color palette is vibrant yet there is a discordance that is dark and strangely perverse. Narrative plays a role as well, though de Miguel is wary of anecdote and explanation. 


The paintings exhibited here depict bodies that melt physically, much the way paint drips and melts. However, what gives these works their authority is not their heightened sense of emotional drama, but the physicality of the paint. The fluid drippage not only determines the actions of the melting figures but conveys a psychomatic effect on their bodies and resonates a powerful metaphor for distress.