Michelle Mildenhall is a UK-based mixed-media artist with a provocative approach to portraiture. Her instantly recognisable pieces are made from sheet latex which she combines with stylised imagery to seduce observers into a world of disconcerting beauty and mystique.
Michelle’s Education and Early Career
Michelle was born in Wiltshire and studied Textiles and Surface Patterns at Somerset College of Arts. During her schooling, Michelle became fascinated by movements such as Pop Art, styles like Street Art and erotic illustrators including Aubrey Beardsley, paving the way for her passion for decadence, sexuality and contemporary feminism. Following her studies, she spent several years working as a Commercial Graphic Artist in London. Before long, her aching passion for textiles, graphic design and latex inspired her to create something totally unique and unheard of in the art world.
Style and Approach
Guided by themes of sex, greed and fetishism, Michelle meticulously and laboriously recreates iconic female characters and historical figures such as Margaret Thatcher in Iron Maiden and Mary Magdalene in Bloody Mary using latex. Her process includes cutting the various latex shapes by hand before applying a thinning agent. The pieces are then recontextualised in fabulously erotic and ironic portraits. While the latex conceptualisation stands out as an entirely modern and subversive approach to art, her use of bold, block colours alone is enough to arouse the senses.
Press and Exhibitions
Michelle’s trademark niche has been lauded worldwide, exhibited in top global galleries including the Saatchi Gallery, London; La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles and Sin City Gallery in Las Vegas. Michelle has also been featured on TimeOut, ITV News and Art Republic.
"Mildenhall to date is the UK's first and only latex artist and her approach to contemporary feminism is certainly unique. These original pieces are created through a unique, laborious process where the artist spends hours hand cutting the different shapes from huge sheets of latex and then applying a special thinning agent and sticking everything back together. The resulting works are fun and ironic with her use of famous characters, with an added erotic element."
Rebecca Gordon - Rise Art Curator
Artworks by Michelle Mildenhall
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