Natalie Wadlington

Region: MFA Annual


City / State: Bloomfield Hills, MI

I am attracted to banal scenes that express the cyclical order in which we simultaneously perform and become victims in acts of conflict, domination, submission, misunderstanding, comingtogether, and falling-apart. This humorous but tragic cycle is repeated at a societal level as we navigate an increasingly fractured, anxiety-ridden, globalized world. The paintings are similarly splintered and spatially dense, as they represent the fraught power struggle between self and other. These scenes of conflict are where we grapple with the limitations of our personal identity and either succeed or fail at mutual understanding. In the face of a fugitive, increasingly accelerated society, our affective turn to the nostalgic is complicated by these figurative paintings that speak to the difficulty of achieving understanding.

The body, as profoundly commodified in a neoliberal economy, exerts its ego as an act of self-identification with violent consequences. These colorful and playful paintings are consumable bodies that speak about suffering in contemporary culture. I paint the resulting scenes with specificity and drama, depicting dynamic interactions that are absurd, humorous, and lonely.