One of the new exhibits at the Evanston Art Center this July is a collection of paintings by Natasha Giles Somerville. One particular painting caught my eye, the one titled “Famille”. On a background of dark blues and purples emerges a rowboat filled with adults and children. The closer the boat is to the viewer, the more clear are the figures in the painting. In the front of the boat, a small child is smiling, her facial features clear to the viewer. The adults in the back of the boat barely have any distinguishable facial features, almost as if they are emerging from a mist in the back of the painting. The faded adults in the back and the clear children in the front, combined with the dark blue and purple background, really stuck out to me. It seemed almost magical to look at it initially, almost coming from another world. I really enjoyed how this piece of art made me think about why the artist chose to make the painting this way, and that the meaning of it isn’t clear at the outset. It’s shrouded in mystery, which attracted me.
Natasha Giles Someville’s work evokes a sense of timelessness; the artist has stated that the clothing of the people in her pieces are the only ties to time present in her work. Each of these pieces are modeled after images found on social media, and many of them make commentary on how we express ourselves online. This is an important topic to address today in the contemporary art world, and Somerville does it well.