Friday, 22 November 2013


Marianela (art exhibition) by Mark Demsteader, Panter and Hall Gallery - reviewed on 19th November
Marianela in Red 1 with a price tag of £20,000

Marianela Nuñez is the latest muse of Mark Demsteader, who has created a series of artistic portraits of her which are currently on display at the Panter and Hall Gallery in Pall Mall. Whilst it's free to go and have a look, the way in which they are displayed is not conducive to a particularly pleasant viewing experience. In particular, there are a huge range of obstacles - from coat rails to desks - blocking access to the art works,  and the lighting is less than ideal.
The prime aim of the display is clearly to sell the paintings, though with prices ranging from £3,000 up to an enormous £20,000, they were hardly within my price range. But this and the climbing over chairs I had to do  aside, the art itself is a lovely representation of and tribute to Nuñez. She is one of the world's leading (and one of my favourite) ballerinas and the joy she exudes onstage is simply incredible. Demsteader doesn't convey this in his paintings, choosing instead to place her in quiet and intimate poses that are perhaps more represent of her offstage persona.
The artist's style is not really to my taste - apologies for my inability to describe it appropriately, but it's quite scribbly in form and very rough in texture, with extra pieces of canvas seemingly plastered on in random places. But the pictures are beautiful, true to the exquisite dancer who inspired them, and did I have a spare few thousand pounds (and a spare space on the wall), I would love to have a Marianela portrait gracing my home.

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