Spotlight: Mike Silva’s London Paintings
7 July 2020
Mike Silva's new body of works showing at The Approach in London (London Portraits, Interiors and Still Lives, 20 May–2 August 2020) are wonderfully intimate and melancholic, bringing domestic interiors together with portraits of lovers, friends, and acquaintances.
Exhibition view: Mike Silva, London Portraits, Interiors and Still Lives, The Approach, London (20 May–2 August 2020). Courtesy The Approach.
Silva's images are derived from photographs he took throughout his life in the 1990s and early 2000s in London, but were only transformed into paintings recently—a distance that imbues the work with a tenderness and vulnerability as we become witnesses to Silva's personal memories.
Silva's interior images are particularly emotive; mundane rooms delicately rendered in soft hues are lovingly observed with dappled light flickering through the windows. The oil on linen Kitchen Window (2020), for example, pays attention to ordinary objects arranged around a kitchen sink, elevating them to the status of artefact. Moments from everyday life become magical and profound.
The men depicted in his portraits are often dressed in sports clothing or nineties streetwear, but Silva captures them in intimate moments, their gaze sometimes tenderly directed towards him; their hands are treated with the same degree of care as lips and eyes. —[O]