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Kitchen Window (2020)

Mike Silva

oil on linen

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

Kitchen Window (2020)





Oil, Linen


50.8 x 61 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society through the Rapid Response Fund, 2020

Ownership history:

Purchased from The approach by the Contemporary Art Society through the Rapid Response Fund, 2020; presented to Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle (Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums), 2020
Mike Silva navigates past experiences of masculinity, queerness and nostalgia in his work. A painter of still lifes and portraits, Silva paints with a fondness that conveys agency and intimacy. His works are personal, exposing vulnerable sides of his life, from past relationships to previously inhabited places. Central to Silva’s practice is photography, inspired by the ability that it has to capture a fixed moment in time. The artist has amassed a large collection of photographs taken in the ’90s and ’00s. By combining the photographs from his archive with his own emotions and memories, he retells these stories again through painting. Questions arise about how and what we remember, as well as what memories we choose to let go of.

The Laing Art Gallery has acquired three works from the recent series ‘London Portraits', Interiors and Still Lives’. Headphones and Kitchen Window are paintings of interior spaces. These domestic scenes appear to be hazy through the use of white paint, shadows and the use of light which ultimately transform mundane objects into mystical relics.

Silva’s paintings are intimate, tender and somewhat melancholic. In his portraiture such as in Jason in Hyde Park, Silva paints Black men in everyday scenes, where there is both an intimacy and sternness in their gaze. He adds to the representation of Black men in painting through varying forms of masculinity, partially informed by an understanding of otherness experienced as a person of dual heritage.

The Laing Art Gallery is committed to addressing erasures, omissions and incomplete narratives that are inherent in many public collections of British art. Acquiring Queer and diverse works are a part of a longer ongoing collecting process which the Laing Art Gallery intends to pursue.

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