Beauty in Stillness
An artist I really, really admire is Natalie Shau. This young Lithuanian woman, born in 1984, defines herself as a dark artist - and sure she is. Her artworks are made by a mixture of photography, computer graphics and 3D elements. From her computer surreal creatures emerge, beautiful, but veneous women, from a strange faraway metaphorical land. They haunt us and trouble us like deranged dreams, for they are real and illusory at the same time. Shau’s beautiful creatures come to us from our collective memory. Her Eves, Liliths, Lolitas and Alices try to seduce us to enter the other world, the dark gothic one, with gazing eyes, pearls and jewelry, with scattered flowers. And in that world we will meet the deepest desires of the female soul. Desires that spring from her ever-ambivalent nature, which at the same time is as delicate as a butterfly and as powerful as a queen of the occult. Shau’s surrealistic portraits breathe a dark elegance, combining elements from human emotions to fashion and fairytales. She creates a moony atmosphere by using pastel colors and a large variety of smokey greys. Natalie states “usually all beautiful moments and things in life do not last long, so I try to capture beauty in stillness.”
She finds her inspiration in religious pictures, ancient nordic tales and legends, classical and modern paintings like the works of the pre-Raphaelite and european expressionism, old photographs, classic horror literature of for example Edgar Allen Poe and the great russian writers as Dostojevski and Gogol. This background, formed by times-gone-by, does not hold Shau back in the old days, for she knows how to draw attention to her work. You can see her artworks on permanent display at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome and they were shown in famous galleries like the Opera Gallery and Phillips de Pury in New York and the Vanilla Gallery in Tokyo. Shau also participates in institutional exhibitions, such as ‘Pop Surrealism Stay Foolish’ in the Casa de Conte Verde di Rivoli in Turin, ‘Pop Surrealism’ in the Palace Museum Collicola in Spoleto and ‘Inside her Eyes’ at the Pallazzo Valentini in Rome.
Commercially, her work is used by designers, musicians, filmmakers, and so on. You can find her work on covers of books like ‘Dance of the Shadow’ by Yelena Black, which shows a red dressed ballerina, dancing in the clouds, whilst her dress is built up from rose petals falling from the sky, or ‘Precious Blood’, a blessed novel by Tonya Hurly, showing an almost geometric structure build of roses with an al-seeing eye. Shau also made album covers, like ‘Walking on Air’ by Kerli. I personally favor the works she’s done for the campaign of exclusive Parisian jewellery maker Lydia Courteille, published in Solitaire Magazine. Courteille designed a jewellery collection ‘Homage to Surrealism’: lovely animals like lizzards, insects, and parrots, leaves and petals that are inspired by the works of Salvador Dalí. There even is a re-make of the famous lip brooche Dalí made in 1949. The jewellery is incorperated in the artwork of Shau and both merge in a feast of lusciuos colors and lots of imagination. Of course the 'skulled' lady, a remembrance of the mexican day of the dead in a Frida Kahlo-like setting is the one I like most! It looks like Natalie Shau can do it al. I’m gonna check on her every now and then to see how she develops. I can only advise you to do the same. Enter her strange world without fear for her creatures and for yourself.