Matilda Enegren

Born: 1989
Nationality: Finnish
Based in: Finland
Media: Painting
Content: Gender


In my figurative paintings I work with self-portraiture and fleeting moments of catching sight of people in public spaces. Painting is a strategy for venting weariness in what I see, impressions that I by habit dismiss from my consciousness, but that start to stay with me and concern me. I seek to deal with and respond to these sights by closely observing and intricately depicting them through painting.

In the series Clustered Adolescence I-IIII, I have depicted young women, viewed from behind clustered in pairs in subtracted surroundings. I departed from photographs that I secretly took of the adolescents, spotted in shopping malls. They are crouching around their mobile devices, absorbed by the digital reality and momentarily careless about the physical world around them. Knowing only as much as one can see, I give their postures my full attention, I look for the formations, doubleness, closeness and repetition in these groupings. In my depictions the anonymous clusters are forming a barrier that resists the intruding gaze of a spectator. They are turning their backs to the viewer, and at the same time to the revealing and pleasing way women usually are portrayed and represented in the history of painting, in advertisements and in self-promoting pictures in social media.

In the series Self-Portraits I am representing myself looking at myself, which creates a gaze that stares directly in the eyes of the spectator. The act of painting self-portraits involves thinking about aging and death, it’s about staring into the transience of life. I am constantly examining and capturing the loop that occurs in between the notion of the self and my reflection in the mirror.

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Kamppi Center, watercolor and ink on paper, 115 x 158cm, 2016.

Clustered Adolescence II, watercolor and ink, 71 x 113 cm, 2015.

Clustered Adolescence III, watercolor and ink, 71 x 113 cm, 2015.

Mal, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, 2016.

Reptil, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, 2016.

Lantern, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, 2016.

Aloof, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, 2016.

Aprikos, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, 2016.

Vigilance, oil on canvas board, 27 x 35 cm, 2016.