Natalie Arsenow creates intricate drawings, which people can enjoy simply for their aesthetic value and inherent beauty. However, she does also love to inject a slight feminist touch. Therefore the artist draws portraits, usually depicting women only, because in her opinion it is high time to put women in the limelight and on a pedestal, where they belong, after existing in obscurity for many centuries.
The inspiration comes from Old Masters on the one hand and photographs depicting actresses on the other hand. She tends to chose famous portraits from the Renaissance and Baroque period and images of rather well-known actresses from the past and present because the audience is oftentimes able to recognize them, which creates an immediate link between the artwork and the viewer.
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About The Artist
Drawing has always been one of her absolutely favourite activities, which she is happy to perform for hours on end. During her A-levels in Germany she chose Fine Arts as one of her 3 main subjects and after finishing high school went on to university where she got a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and Art History. After that her involvement with the practical side of art got put on hold for quite a while as other things became more important. Natalie Arsenow moved abroad, started her first job teaching art at a secondary school, learned different languages and generally built a new life. For approximately 15 years she only made drawings when she needed examples for her students. Finally, in 2017, she decided to get back into drawing. And for the last 2 years the artist has been more serious about this and made sure that she was able to draw for several hours every week.
In 2008 she took part in a photography course, mainly to finally be able to use all of the functions of her DSLR camera. She obviously noticed that composition is pretty much the same no matter if we are talking about drawings, paintings of photographs. In 2009 she joined a photography club that organised weekly meetings, challenges and exhibitions. She was mainly in love with topics such as architecture, simplicity and calmth. In 2019 she finally started buying some art from other photographers and noticed that her heart is usually drawn to surreal images. This is why she recently started honing this skill as well, which gives her a lot of pleasure and it is a also nice change from her extremely meticulous drawings.
Drawings made in a Unique Technique
The artist has a lot of respect for other artists who are able to produce photo-realistic images. However, she prefers to work in a very distinct, recognizable style that cannot be imitated by a camera.
Her drawings are executed with different kinds of pencils usually in shades of grey and white. The portraits are constructed with geometrical shapes, mostly triangles and the artist creates shades by using different kinds of white, grey and graphite pencils, spacing the lines closer or further apart from each other but also by applying more or less pressure to the medium and crosshatching. This results in a very contemporary look and sometimes reaches the verge of abstraction. When seen from a distance the work will probably trick you in to thinking that it is a rather realistic painting or even a photograph. The intention is to bring the depicted women into our present day, show that things evolve and change, also in our ways of thinking, society, customs and habits.
Natalie Arsenow’s drawings are extremely intricate, detailed and therefore time-consuming to make. Luckily she enjoys the process of watching her work grow and come to life immensely. Because creating something is like watching magic unfold in front of your eyes.
2020 07. – 09.02., Carte de Visite, Vanderborght Building, Rue de l’Ecuyer 50, 1000 Brussels (group exhibition, drawing) 03. – 26.09., Geometria, Arthus Gallery, Place du Chatelain 37, 1050 Ixelles (group exhibition, drawing)
2019 08. – 22.06., Portaelsschool, Spiegelstraat 62, 1800 Vilvoorde (group exhibition, drawing) 03.10. – 06.12., Cobra Bar and Gallery, Rue des Chartreux 1, 1000 Brussels (solo exhibition, drawing)
2017 14.09. – 13.11., Zoom Hotel, Rue de la Concorde 59/61, 1000 Brussels (solo exhibition, photography)
2012 December, Foto Gamma, Diestevest 39, 3000 Leuven (group exhibition, photography)
2011 December, Foto Gamma, Diestevest 39, 3000 Leuven (group exhibition, photography) October, Museum M, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28, 3000 Leuven (group exhibition, photography) June, Kruidtuin, Kapucijnenvoer 30, 3000 Leuven (group exhibition, photography)
2004 April, Kontraste, Stadtsparkasse Frankenthal, Bahnhofstraße 7-9. 67227 Frankenthal (solo exhibition, drawings and photographs)
2002 June, Universität Landau, Fortstraße 7, 76829 Landau (group exhibition, design)
2000 June, Universität Landau, Fortstraße 7, 76829 Landau (group exhibition, mixed media)
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