- THE WORK:Claire A Milner has created art for celebrities, large corporations and advertising agencies. Her artworks are held in private collections around the world and are regularly published in books and magazines. Her 5ft x 5ft Swarovski crystal portrait of Marilyn, owned by Rihanna, is featured on the official website of The Estate of Marilyn Monroe. Her work has been chosen for five collections with Saatchi Art and has been featured in Swarovski Elements Magazine. Her portrait of Amy Winehouse appeared in an exhibition curated by the Amy Winehouse Foundation to mark what would have been the late singer's 30th birthday.Claire's latest collection, available via the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London, and featured in The Times, has been described as "metaphors of our time"; one year in the making, involving hours of research into the threats facing endangered species and the painstaking application of tens of thousands of crystals. The collection is all about contrasts; between the technical precision of the crystal mosaics, undercut by the ominous nature of the painted backgrounds; the references to classical literature written as graffiti, the abstract elements juxtaposed with realist forms, and handprints symbolizing the birth of art and the destruction of the planet.Mortality, ideas of beauty in popular culture, and the contradictory and sometimes intertwined concepts of the superficial and the profound are recurring themes. Whilst simultaneously searching for beauty and meaning in both minute detail and the big picture, a darker subtext explores the line between perceptions and preconceptions. Through the use of crystal mosaics, occasionally undercut with painting and mixed media, the work questions our consumer driven world, which places great emphasis on celebrity and superficiality. Imbued with symbolism and references to both literature and topical issues within an art historical context, the works hold a mirror up to a society where people, animals and inanimate objects are valued mostly for their physical appearance.
- WHAT THEY SAY:
"Rihanna has bought one of her portraits and her work is being snapped up by collectors across the globe." Beyond Magazine"Her richly diverse sources of inspiration include ancient art and popular culture, as well as music videos and Shakespeare. This is reflected in a dynamic adaptability, from a mosaic depicting under-sea volcanoes to iconic portraiture." Swarovski Elements Magazine"THE most striking thing about North Yorkshire artist Claire Milner’s stunning portrait of Marilyn Monroe isn’t its size (five feet square), or the fact that it’s made out of Swarovski crystals – or even that pop star Rihanna paid tens of thousands of pounds for it (although that generated a fair few headlines). What hits you is that, despite its size and the way it was made .. it has a raw truth about it... There is a real fragility and vulnerability captured there. There is another haunting secret to it, too. Claire painted a second portrait on the back, of Norma Jeane Baker... There is something almost unbearably poignant about the thought of that portrait of Norma Jeane forever facing the wall. It makes the revealed face of Marilyn even more moving." Stephen Lewis, York Press"At first glance, these sparkling paintings are gorgeous images of endangered animals. Upon closer inspection, however, each work shows a much darker subtext. The hauntingly expressed consequences of poaching, climate change and habitat loss powerfully focus on the plight of some of the world’s most vulnerable species." Aisha Abdelhamid, Inspired EconomistClaire's work has been widely publicised. Selected publications include: BBC, BBC Brasil, Blouin Artinfo, Complex Magazine, Elle (Spain and Slovenia), Forbes.com, GQ Italia, HELLO! Huffington Post Arts, Huffington Post Celebrity, International Business Times, MTV Style, Newsweek (Poland) OK! (U.K. & China) Swarovski Elements Magazine, Sky Living, The Daily Mail, The Economist (Lithuania), The Sun, The Telegraph and The Times.