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Cristina de Miguel in NY Art Beat

Fredericks & Freiser presents an exhibition of new work by Cristina de Miguel (b. 1987). The Spanish artist makes figurative paintings built upon a network of neo-expressionistic affinities, graffiti-inflected spray paint, and highly intuitive paint application.

De Miguel’s paintings display a willingness to reconcile opposite concepts. Her figures are by turns, dignified and debased. She employs a bright color palette, yet there is a dissonance that is dark and strangely perverse. Narrative plays a role as well, though de Miguel is weary of anecdote or explanation.

For her second exhibition at Fredericks & Freiser, de Miguel continues to address the typically masculine style of neo-expressionism as a visual reference point. Within the parameters of this male-dominated form of painting, she explores an open-ended story of desire and sexuality from a thoroughly female perspective. In her world, men often take the form of demon lovers: available and bold, yet represented as primarily “other.” Couples (including the origin narrative of Adam and Eve) are treated less as connected partners and more as distant beings — sharing a universe wherein emotional connection is more secluded than her vigorous brushwork would have you believe.