A review of Egg lady by the Collector that bought it, and I think sums up the painting brilliantly. Ta
This is a tremendous work that would grace any municipal art gallery. Egg Lady presents us with a 50 x 60 Cms oil on canvas. The subject is a female with a headscarf shown from the chest upwards. The most obvious and visually striking aspect of the work is that the lady’s face has been replaced entirely by a fried egg. Egg Lady certainly references the Surrealists, particularly the paintings of René Magritte, whose The Son of Man comes to mind, where a man’s face is obscured with an apple in much the same way as the lady’s face is replaced by a fried egg.
The work also references Magritte’s The Man in the Bowler Hat, which sees the man’s face obscured by a white dove. The centrepiece of Egg Lady is the fried egg face of the subject, which is covered by a beautifully rendered blue-green, silk scarf deliciously covering the head and neck of the subject. The vivid orange-yellow yoke of the egg – which looks good enough to eat (it’s got to be free-range), dominates the right-hand side of the image, but is beautifully counter-balanced by the silk scarf, flowing like a flag unfurled into a stiff breeze, onto the left-hand side. The strong colouration of both scarf and face are reinforced by the off-white background framing both. The white of the egg serves two purposes. Firstly, its washed-out, off-white colours enhance the brilliant orange-yellow hues of the yoke. Secondly, a part of the egg white (together with two slips of fabric from the knot of the scarf), hang like appendages, skilfully connecting the lower and upper parts of the painting.
Aside from the vivid egg yoke and scarf, the artist has muted all other colours in the work. However, with the use of strong triangular and rectangular shapes in the bottom half of the painting – where we find solid blocks of pale pink, brown and off-white, we discern she has provided a firm foundation on which the Egg Lady’s head, and indeed the entire work, comfortably and solidly rests.
At first viewing, Egg Lady may come across as humorous, quirky, flippant or even clever. However, there may also be a deeper meaning in the work. The Egg Lady wants to be seen, but she does not want to reveal herself entirely. So, on a human level, Egg Lady is symbolic of the masks we wear, the devices we use to hide ourselves even as we reveal ourselves; to the world and to the judgement of others. In this context, Egg Lady may well be a unique self-portrait by a very talented artist.
Gesso & Oil