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Mike Silva (1970)


Mike Silva (b. Sandviken, Sweden 1970) lives and works in London. Recent solo shows include The Approach, London (2020); The Annexe, London (2019); and Farbvision, Berlin (2018). Recent group exhibitions include Anton Kern, New York (2021); Copeland Gallery, London (2019); and David Risley Gallery, Rotterdam (2017). Silva graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1994 and was included in the 1995 New Contemporaries. He has held one person shows at The Charlie Dutton Gallery, London, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (2001/2000), Anthony Wilkinson Gallery, London (2004/2002/1998/1995), Galeri Bouhlou, Norway (2002), Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (1996) and has been included in a number of group shows including Lombard Freid, New York, Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami and Victoria Miro Gallery, London. His work is in a number of collections including: British Council, British Airways, Government Art Collection, Simmons & Simmons and the Saatchi Collection.

He works from his own photographs, sometimes going back to images taken many years before: “Memory and longing is something we project onto an image. The photographic image is rooted in the time and place that it was taken – it is fixed to that specific moment. Whereas a painting can appear to always seem in the present, because it’s been divorced from the exact point in time it originally refers to; it has a more universal quality.”  Silva approaches portraiture and the depiction of domestic interiors with the same quality of intimacy and tenderness, capturing the textures of daily life.  His portraits of black men are a reflection of his life in London, meditations on masculinity and the passage of time. Through the Contemporary Art Society's Rapid Response Fund (2020) the CAS has acquired three paintings – two still lifes and a portrait – for the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle that reflect the spectrum of Silva’s practice.






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