5th – 16th November 2019
Annie Zamero paints satirical portraits of contemporary public figures using satire to uncover aspects of her chosen subjects that they would rather not reveal as part of their public persona, and the results are often contentious by nature. Some have been featured in the Evening Standard’s Diary page, which describes Zamero as a ‘controversial artist’. She embraces this description, noting that controversy sparks interest and starts a conversation.
Humour is an important element in the work and Zamero has a sense of the ridiculous and strives for a convergence of gravitas and the cartoon. Satire can also be serious. Each painting is set in an art historical context giving it a contemporary relevance. She is particularly interested in the Baroque period for its sense of drama, and more recently the Rococo period for its flamboyance. The public figures are selected because of their personal power; they are often iconic figures.
Annie Zamero’s methodology involves photographing herself or others dressed in the costume of the chosen character; this increases a sense of personal involvement and helps to identify with the subject, enhancing the facility for character and expression. It also involves adopting the physical pose of the subject which is a technique proposed by Cecil Collins and which the artist learnt from his protégé, Ruth Eisenhardt, who continued his teachings after his death. Her influences are German Expressionists, George Condo, John Currin for “creating” people (using contemporary magazine photos in an art historical context), Rembrandt for character and costume and Mauritzio Cattelan for the political cartoon as fine art. Also of contextual relevance is Alison Jackson for satirising public figures.
Annie Zamero is of Eastern European/Germanic descent, and is a self taught artist who graduated from Manchester University in BSc Physiology/Pharmacology, but since childhood was always painting and drawing to help make sense of the world. One of her earliest childhood memories was of her mother being straight jacketed, during a family visit to a countryside mental asylum, where her mother was a frequent patient. Humour became an important way to cope with difficulty, and has featured in her satirical series of paintings.
Zamero founded The Magma Group of artists in 2011. She has exhibited in London, New York, Liverpool, Paris, Athens and Arizona and has been selected for the Liverpool Biennial (2016 and 2010) and the European Capital of Culture Festival (2008). Zamero appears in a number of published books on Stuckism, and in numerous exhibition catalogues with essays by Edward Lucie-Smith, Paul Carey-Kent, Anna McNay and Dr Chris Barlow.