AGAC 3rd Place Winner - Misha Hillier - Vincent Revisiting
3rd Place Winner in the AGAC 2023
- Artist: Misha Hillier
- Name: Vincent Revisiting
- Size: 630 mm x 480 mm x 150 mm
- Medium: Cardboard deep relief sculpture in frame
- Price: R58,500
Misha is a South African artist and sculptor, and she has been awarded as the 3rd Winner in the ARTi Gallery Art Competition 2023!
About this piece:
I felt inspired to reimagine a famous painting as a cardboard sculpture, so I started making two different pieces at the same time; this one, and Vermeer’s Girl with Pearl Earring. Along the way I abandoned this one to focus on the Pearl Earring, which I spent weeks working on, but it just didn’t want to come together. At the very last minute I came back to this one and it was an absolute joy to complete. This sculpture was built from cut pieces of recycled cardboard using glue and a knife, and then shaped with sandpaper, blades and rasping tools to achieve a finer finish.
I’ve experimented with colour using gouache and brown paper, to recreate Van Gogh’s expressive brushwork and vivid colour palette, while allowing the texture of the cardboard to be seen. It was incredibly interesting to study his work so closely; his colours are so mad and unexpected and yet somehow they make sense when you stand back and watch them work together. I felt that the cardboard and torn painted paper played beautifully into his vision. I have imagined Vincent, a tortured misunderstood genius artist, emerging from his self portrait to peer into this world, contemplating the unexpectedness of his posthumous enduring success, which he could never have imagined in his lifetime. This artwork is my personal celebration of Vincent Van Gogh, for whom I have gained a newfound deeper admiration.
About the Artist:
Misha grew up in Cape Town and is from a family of talented artists. She began her art education as a young child by helping her father in his workshop, and after matriculating in 1994, spent a gap year at a job where she hand-painted wooden toys. She studied graphic design at Cape Technikon and travelled the world for several years. After returning to Cape Town in 2004 she started doing ceramic sculpture, participating in group exhibitions and teaching classes.
Misha is a versatile artist, and her creative pursuits broadened when she made a few giant articulated puppet creatures for a festival. Since then, she has worked across multiple mediums in the fields of painting, sculpture, illustration, fabrication, and festival art installations, even ice-sculpting with a chainsaw! She moved to Riebeek Kasteel at the end of 2019 with a plan to build a new studio and explore her own expression as an artist, but her plans were forestalled by two years due to Covid. During this time without a studio, she began experimenting with paper sculpture, and her first subjects were mushrooms.
Her mushroom journey culminated in building a four-meter-high mushroom from steel and sculpted fabric, for a festival earlier this year. Misha is an emerging artist, working full time from her studio in Riebeek Kasteel, currently exploring the medium of paper and cardboard sculpture combined with mixed media elements. In August this year she participated in Solo Studios Intimate Art Encounters and held her first solo exhibition. This competition effort has played vitally into finding and tuning her process with these materials, and through this experience, combined with the joy she found in her subject, she has gained greater clarity for her vision. She is feeling excited and inspired to continue forward with her ideas.