Machiko Edmondson

Machiko Edmondson (b. 1961) refers to her practice as a representation of painting rather than as being representational. Despite the overt use of faces as her image source, she regards her work as neither figurative paintings or as portraits of people. Employing the momentary seduction of fashion photography to lure the viewer into the world of idealized beauty, her paintings mimic the styles and codes of the desire industry to question the value and obsessions of aspirational perfection.

Just as in fashion photography, where the mode is a support for the product and contextualization of such images, so is this support present in the context of Edmondson’s painting. Although seductive, the ideal they present becomes hyper-real: the image is devoid of identity and, paradoxically, and empty facade which is quickly consumed giving way to the anxiety and obsession that assert these paintings as paintings. Beyond the image which gives them their presence, what is being portrayed here is the question of aspirational perfection of painting itself.

As the viewer engages with these works and scans the surface, shifting their reading between fantasy and the tropes of modernist painting, the skin of the image and the skin of painted surface, these works become paintings of unattainable desire.

Since graduating from Goldsmiths Collage with her MA in 1995, Edmondson’s paintings have been shown internationally in various curated shows alongside works of artists such Alex Katz, Elizabeth Payton, Glenn Brown, Peter Doig, Yinka Shobibare, John Currin, Paul Morrison, Jeff Koons, Tony Oursler, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Cindy Sherman, Mariko Mori, Marlene Duma, Michael Craig-Martin, Mark Wallinger, and Andy Warhol.

Machiko Edmondson is a British artist and lives and works in London, England.