A female Warhol, Milner is reviving the ancient mosaic techniques of Byzantine art, combined with painting, to create dazzling art that clashes nature with consumption.
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.
Rihanna has bought one of her portraits and her work is being snapped up by collectors across the globe.
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. 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.
The artistic opus of Claire Milner is largely drawn from the artist’s desire to inscribe environmentalist discourse in art… On a similar trail of examining human behaviour in crises, Milner considers topics of identity, gender and displacement. The artist uses her work as a device for social and political debate.
“It’s all about the detail for Claire Milner, the stellar British talent behind the portrait of Marilyn Monroe... Claire’s philosophical approach is revealed in the surprising hidden portrait painted on the reverse that represents the young Norma Jean - a commentary on the life of a celebrity. Her richly diverse sources of inspiration include ancient art, popular culture and Shakespeare. This is reflected in a dynamic adaptability, from a mosaic depicting under-sea volcanoes to iconic portraiture.”
Her works of art are majestic as well as thought-provoking.