Georgiana - Stella Vine
© Stella Vine 2003






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Prozac and Private Views
Stella Vine

10 June - 4 July 2004
Thursday - Sunday 1-6pm

Private View Wed 9 June
Performance by Gina Birch


Kitten, 2004, Oil on board, 41.5x33cm
© Stella Vine 2004


Geri, 2004, Oil on board, 61 x 51cm
© Stella Vine 2004


Transition presents Prozac and Private Views, a solo show by the artist Stella Vine.

When Charles Saatchi purchased her painting of Diana, Princess of Wales; (Hi Paul Can You Come Over) from Transition earlier this year, Stella Vine was propelled into the centre of a media frenzy and aspects of her life story were filtered through that particularly English kaleidoscope that is tabloid tale telling. Somehow in all this temporary fiction, in the whole hoopla of burlesque outrage, the main point got lost - the work itself.

Stella Vine is a contemporary figurative painter, a tightropey place to be at present. Her paintings, however, far from being stuck in some kind of revisionist retreading, trace a radical trajectory that connects the Rococo lyricism of Gainsborough to the Kitchen Sink storytelling of John Bratby, arriving at a modern gothic soup of Dark Romanticism where it is possible to discern the artist thinking with her brush.

In Prozac and Private Views, Vine directs her gaze to a cast of enigmatic characters to whom she is irresistibly drawn. These iconic figures, whose auras are photostatted onto our collective consciousness (who died young and stayed pretty) become characters in her own autobiographical petit dramas. Painting as an adrenalin rush of mise en scene vignettes.

Vine's darkling theatre of identification, re-defines a contemporary axis of representation where the melancholic gravitas of the work is often balanced by deft touches of black humour. Prozac and Private Views – her first solo show - is more self exploration than exploitation with Vine’s preoccupation with the subject matter centre stage. After the recent intense media scrutiny of her private life, Stella has spent time making new work, retreating into a fictive world “like a lost girl... a deranged teenager trying to make a environment of loves, memories and desires”. Intermingled with this Kristevean chora of salon style paintings and miniatures of Granny, Alwnick Fair, loved ones and pets, Vine includes Courtney Love, Bernadette of Lourdes and a Basquiat referenced painting of Sylvia Plath on a cooker. Meanwhile the “crappy pink fluorescent” Hotel Bernadette with its black arrow at the entrance to the show resonates with connotations of “model upstairs” defying any notions of a nostalgic comfort zone.

Not unlike the songs of P.J Harvey, which “dramatise the conflicts of desiring and being desired”, Vine explores “a kind of self exposure that uniquely combines seduction and threat, intimacy and estrangement” (The Sex Revolts, Gender Rebellion and Rock and Roll - Simon Reynolds and Joy Press - Serpents Tail 1995)

Stella Vine was born in Alnwick, Northumberland and lives and works in London. Her exhibitions include New Blood at The Saatchi Gallery, London (2004) Girl On Girl at Transition, London E9 (2004), Snow at Transition, London E9 (2003), Fanclub at Rosy Wilde, London (2003), Chockerfuckingblocked at Jeffrey Charles Gallery, London (2003).