Michelle Mildenhall Brighton/London, UK
If you don't know then you've probably been held hostage or on a world cruise, for she is the fast-rising latex pop artist whose works are instantly recogniseable and wanted by art lovers and fetishists alike. When I spoke to her she'd just sold two originals this very week, including Pleading, the famous ball-gag image.
When you say 'latex pop artist...'?
Ok so that's the handy hook, but stylish Michelle's influences range from Warhol and Aubrey Beardsley to latex couture designer Atsuko Kudo. Personally I sense some Matisse in the vibrant juxtaposition of cut-out colours. That's me being arty.
Well not only has the Brighton-based artist garnered attention from the fetish scene, exhibiting for example at fetish event night Rubber Cult and making the cover of Skin Two magazine, but she's also been a page 3 feature in the Brighton Argus, been on ITV and been cited by The Guardian, all in the space of less than a couple of years.
How much are her works?
They vary. Best to check out her website really. She also takes on commissions so if you want to be immortalised in latex you know where to go! The good thing is you can not only obtain signed originals but also limited edition prints starting around £100. I would imagine both will be extremely collectable due to their popularity.
But what about the latex, doesn't it perish?
Sounds like an Alan Partridge question, but actually it's very relevant. Michelle told us there is quite a precise process to ensure that the work stays in its original condition. First the latex is sprayed with Kim West Fade Stop, not only protecting it from UV rays (not as though you'd want your work out on the beach anyway) but also keeping it dust-repellent, non-greasy and non-oily shiny. The finished pieces are then sealed in box frames with 99% UV conservation grade glass, which is better protection than most other works of art!
Wow, lots of care then. Where can I see her stuff?
Well, if you're Brighton way you can still see her piece Margaret Thatcher till April 3, Tuesday to Saturday 10am-6pm at Brush salon and gallery in the North Laine area of the city centre. Prints can be seen, already selling on Art Republic.
And future projects?
Michelle is contemplating doing a series of works based on T-Girl icons and also some new works based on submission. But the latest on that was that she'd have to run that past her long-term partner and number one fan, Gavin. Perhaps she's has some life-modeling work planned for him...
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