“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Oscar Wilde
'REFLECTING THE IMAGE' is a collection of portraits which are influenced by historical portraiture, popular throughout human history and created with a contemporary twist. They partially reflect the viewer, making observer and observed integral to the work, a commentary on celebrity and the culture of the selfie, a message further enhanced by the informality of the close-cropped compositions. The works present an abstract quality, as a series of pointillist dots when viewed up close, which emerge as a coherent image as the viewer steps back to take in the ‘big picture’. A member of BAMM, The British Association for Modern Mosaics, Claire Milner has an extensive technical knowledge as a mosaic artist and this has formed the basis of her more recent work in crystals. After visiting Ravenna, Italy, a city famous for its early Byzantine and Christian monuments decorated with stunning mosaics, including the splendid Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, she enrolled in a mosaic workshop which was to welcome a new departure for her work. Mosaic is an ancient art which has a rich history dating back to the third century BC. From the Greeks, Romans and Byzantine mosaics, to the Art Nouveau movement, it is now enjoying a huge renaissance in the 21st Century. In the early nineties Milner studied under the eminent international mosaic artist Elaine M Goodwin. It was soon after completing her training that she began incorporating the ancient art of mosaic into her work.
The 5ft x 5ft portrait of Marilyn Monroe, created with 65 000 Swarovski crystals in the private collection of Rihanna presents the entwined identities of public and private personas by hiding a secret painted portrait of Norma Jeane on the reverse, whilst the crystal mosaic mirror image of Marilyn Monroe, her famous alter ego stares out at the world. The portrait of the Queen was created in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee, with Swarovski Aurora Borealis special effects crystals so that from certain angles a diamond effect is presented and from others a definitive red, white and blue appearance as the crystals change colour. (Click on images for lightbox. See below for further individual image information).
4000 Swarovski crystals on perspex. 25cm x 25cm. 2017
3000 Swarovski crystals on perspex. 25cm x 25cm. 2017
Miniature crystal mosaic depicting Medusa, after the neoclassical sculptor Harriet Hosmer.
15 000 crystals on perspex. 27 x 27 inches (69 x 69cm)
Exhibited in Ripon Cathedral
Featured in 'Pop Art' collection and ‘The face of portraiture’ collection Saatchi Art
Publications include: OK! China, Swarovski Elements Magazine, Beyond Magazine, Global Living Magazine and The Sun
"The crystal alchemy used in the image of Queen Elizabeth means that the colors of the Union Jack are visible from a certain angle, and the Diamond Jubilee from another." Swarovski Elements Magazine 2013
4 000 crystals on perspex. 16 x 16 inches (41 x 41cm)
“The likeness to Audrey Hepburn is fantastic. Effectively a pointillism creation, Claire has captured the era, the beauty and fragility of one of the most recognizable faces of any time.” Bils and Rye Contemporary Art Gallery
28 000 crystals on box canvas with aluminium backing. 30 x 30 inches (77 x 77cm)
Featured in OK! China, The Sun, London Fashion Week, Forbes, Global Living Magazine, Beyond Magazine and exhibited in Ripon Cathedral.
“David Beckham... portrayed by the talented hands of Claire A. Milner... at her best with Swarovski crystals and her trademark attention to detail.” Bils and Rye Contemporary Art Gallery
4 000 crystals on perspex. 9.8 x 9.8 inches (25 x 25cm)
Featured in Saatchi Online 'Pulling Faces, Contemporary Portraits,' collection curated by Rebecca Wilson, Director of Saatchi Gallery London
"...the viewer can discern Depp’s expression lurking behind his shades, thanks to her combinations of opaque and reflective crystals." Swarovski Elements Magazine
2500 Swarovski crystals on perspex. 7.8 x 7.8 inches (20 x 20cm)
Exhibited at Platform, London Fashion Week 2009
Publications include: GRAND'OR, BBC Brasil, Telegraph, Elle Spain & K Note: A High Life Guide
This portrait was commissioned to be created in lines of crystals and formed the idea behind the large scale 5ft x 5ft Marilyn for Rihanna which was then developed in a more painterly technique.
65 000 Swarovski crystals on perspex. 60 x 60 inches (153 x 153 cm) Widely featured globally
4 000 crystals on perspex. 16 x 16 inches (41 x 41cm)
12 000 crystals on perspex. 15.7 x 15.7 inches (40 x 40cm)
Publications include: Quintessentially, BBC Brasil, Telegraph & Elle Spain
10 000 hole punch dots on canvas board. 60 x 60cm
"When special interests put their thumb on the scale, and distort the free market, the people who compete by the rules come in last." Barack Obama
30,000 hole punch dots on perspex. 43.25 x 43.25 inches (110 x 110cm)
Featured in Saatchi Art 'Black and White' collection.
This portrait study is inspired by and incorporates the Chet Atkins quote 'He was white, but he sang black..'
“The effect is amazing and mesmeric!” Bils and Rye Contemporary Art Gallery
10 000 hole punch dots. 23.6 x 23.6 inches (60 x 60cm)
Exhibited in Ripon Cathedral 2012
This portrait study is made up of thousands of individually hand placed paper dots in nine specified colours.
Acrylic paint, and text, embellished with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS. 35.4 x 35.4 inches (90 x 90cm)
Appeared at #Amys30 'For You I Was A Flame Exhibition', Proud Gallery, Camden
Publications include: Huffington Post Arts, Beyond Magazine, Global Living Magazine, The Journal, Living North & We Heart
Vitreous glass, gold & ceramic mosaic. 15 x 36 inches (38 x 92cm)
Exhibited at John Mackie Gallery, Banksy Exhibition 2009
A study of the anatomy and muscular structure of the human face and head; the piece is also an allegorical commentary on how the human race is unwilling to face the consequences of its' effects on the rest of life on earth.