Famed for her 5ft x 5ft Swarovski crystal portrait of Marilyn, owned by Rihanna, and featured on the official website of The Estate of Marilyn Monroe; Claire A Milner has created art for large corporations, advertising agencies and private collectors around the world. Her artworks are regularly featured in the media. Selected publications include: BBC, BBC Brasil, Blouin Artinfo, Channel News Asia, 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.
Her latest collection, recently featured in The Times and exhibited in London, 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 explores contrasts; between the technical precision of the crystal mosaics undercut by painted backgrounds; references to classical literature written as graffiti, 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 fine line between perceptions and preconceptions. Through the use of crystal mosaics, 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, a mirror is held up to a society where people, animals and inanimate objects are valued mostly for their physical appearance.
The process is labour intensive and technical, combining meticulous crystal artwork with traditional painting techniques and drawing inspiration from art history. An evolution of earlier studies in Greek, Roman and Byzantine mosaic, the crystal mosaics re-emerge with a contemporary Pop Art perspective. The andamento, or “flow” of the crystals show the muscular structure of the subject in the same way as an ancient mosaic. The technique of optically mixing colours, used by artists of the pointillist movement, is critical to these works. Each image contains thousands of crystals, dynamically refracting in a rainbow spectrum, all applied by hand. Constantly changing mood depending on the lighting conditions, this is an extraordinary effect that no other medium can convey.
"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.
Categories: Mixed Media