Nail polish on panel
9 x 12 inches
Using unconventional materials, Caroline Zurmely’s paintings are influenced by tabloid photography; rendered on panel they give centre stage to the accessories and material details of media photography. Her use of nail polish enamel replicate the gloss of photography, playfully allowing the viewer to question their own relationship to this kind of imagery. Depicted in tight close-up, Zurmely detaches her subject matter from their wider contexts: rings, fabrics, handbags and hairstyles are depicted in closely-cropped compositions. Her contrasting approaches to subject matter and form create opposing senses of intimacy and remoteness between the viewer and subject.
Focus, 2023 depicts the ringed left hand of an anonymous subject. Our only clues to the figure’s identity are the large sapphire and diamond ring, and elegant watch around their wrist. Highlighting these details, Zurmely allows the viewer space to question the value placed in such items and our resulting perceptions. The work also conveys the intimacy and obtrusive details of tabloid photography while pointing to its dehumanising effects. Deftly handling her material, Zurmely uses fractured lines to replicate the pixelated quality of digital mediums, while employing colour as a means to give form to her subject matter, and lend her composition perspective.
B. United States1994
Caroline Zurmely’s (born 1994) artistic practice is driven by material, texture and process above theme or subject. Using nail polish enamel, Zurmely creates relief paintings that explore the imagery of tabloid photography and public mourning. Rendered in tight close-up, Zurmely detaches her subject matter from their wider contexts: rings, fabrics, handbags and hairstyles are depicted in detail. Her contrasting approaches to subject matter and form creates opposing senses of intimacy and remoteness between the viewer and subject. Utilizing unconventional materials and restricting the scope of her pieces, Zurmely aims to alter the viewer’s experience with respect to distance.
Zurmely graduated with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017. Since then her work has been shown in exhibitions in both the United States and the UK. Her work has been published in Art Maze magazine, Emergent Magazine, It’s Nice That and New American Painting.
Zurmely lives and works in Dallas, Texas.