Machiko Edmondson
“Double Bluff” | June 22nd – July 26th, 2020
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Robert Berry Gallery is proud to announce Double Bluff, a solo show by London artist Machiko Edmondson opening on June 22nd, 2020.

We are proud to present Double Bluff, Machiko Edmondson’s newest works over the past three years, an irresistible collection of hyper-realistic faces representing unattainable beauty, desire and identity. When the viewer experiences these paintings from afar, they think they’re photographs, but when they come close, they can see the brush strokes. This breathtaking collection of paintings—featuring a close-up, larger than life view of a gorgeous yet generic composite model face—are truly inspiring, while creating a strange sensation of unease.”

A London native, Edmondson earned her MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London in 1995. Known for her representations of hyper-realistic faces, Edmondson’s paintings have become known around the world for their themes of beauty and identity. 

Double Bluff is about clichés of ideals and desires, in the form of dreamy, sometimes gothic-looking portraits of idealized portraits of women,” states Edmondson. “The viewers may initially see these faces as beautiful faces from the fashion shots. But as the viewers engages with these works and scans the surface, they may come to realize that they don’t know where they stand with these paintings. Not only because of the way they are painted; the bluff goes deeper. Tricking the viewers to think that they are looking at familiar images they recognize instantly but, really, these images are just ‘signs’. Pointing at what my paintings really do want to talk about which are ‘anxiety and obsession’; existing both in the language of painting itself and in the images that I use. Beyond the image which gives them their presence, what is being portrayed here is the question of aspirational perfection of painting itself, shifting their reading between the skin of the image and the skin of the painted surface, these works become paintings of unattainable desire.”

Double Bluff will feature twelve new paintings from Edmondson.  The 48 x 48 in | 122 x 122 cm, paintings Face Paint and Double Bluff from this year, are painted in a looser fashion than her previous works. Edmondson wanted to introduce a hint of narrative in them by including more hair and fringe features, as opposed to the tightly-cropped, stylized faces from earlier works.  The largest work is a 72 x 72 in | 183 x 183 cm, painting titled Cadence that prominently features a woman wearing a dark veil that casts a decorative shadow pattern—painted to picture-perfect detail—over her face. The smallest work is 12 x 10 in | 30 x 25 cm, titled Untitled, finished during COVID19 as the artist has been working furiously on smaller works in her recently-repurposed home studio. Past collectors have featured Edmondson’s work in private homes, offices, museums and public spaces to beautiful and amplify their spaces.

“I wanted this series to be beautiful and haunting, and yet slightly disconcerting,” Ms. Edmondson said.