Allegory, (2020) by Bay Backner
Challenging the boundaries of oil painting to examine the cultural representation of women is what British Painter Bay Backner does best. For instance, Allegory is a unique oil on canvas and beautifully displays the artist’s female forms via self-portraits. Her compositions play with contrast, ambiguity and equilibrium. Feminine imagery dances with androgyny, whilst stitch-craft with science.
Backner is one of the first generation of artists to work without the constraints of a culturally male art establishment. For the first time, her paintings can openly express femininity without the need to conform, suppress or react. Allegory does just this. She finds her techniques in a history of female expression; seeing her canvases as fabric to be cut, sewn and dyed, and her oil paints as veils to reveal the figures within.
Bay Backner says about Allegory and her other works:
“I certainly search for a visual language to express the truths of female identity. I am as equally influenced by Rembrandt and Goya as I am nail art, embroidery and piped icing.”
Above all, Bay Backner is a British post-Brexit artist working in Valencia, Spain. She holds a degree in Physics from Oxford University, gained while studying life-drawing at The Ruskin School of Art. Most importantly, her paintings exhibit across Europe. Most notably in Valencia and as part of Runway Gallery’s London Fashion Week takeover earlier this year. Here, two of her paintings were exhibited (Delta and Shard) and have been featured by Grazia magazine. Furthermore, Bay is the current artist in residence at The British School of Valencia. She’s certified by the Smithsonian Institute in Teaching Critical Thinking through Art.