Mike Silva

b. 1970, Sweden

Mike Silva paints portraits, interiors and still lives that are intimately connected to personal memory.

Working from photographs taken on film and archived over the years, mostly of his acquaintances, friends, lovers, and the environments they once communally inhabited—the artist creates a tender sense of celebration tinted with melancholy. Rooted in the London of the ‘90s or early ‘00s, many of the images Silva paints from, carry the attraction of the innate beauty of youth, as well as the inherent sadness of a photograph being taken of a moment that no longer exists. Whilst the painting of the photographs is a way of remembering, they are also cathartically about letting go.

Silva’s interiors or domestic spaces expose quietly observed moments such as when light hits a particular wall or floor of a shared bedroom, kitchen or living room — evoking a feeling of nostalgia or longing for places that were inhabited only for brief periods. Using white generously in the painting process offers a milky or hazy quality to the paintings, perhaps a reflection on the ungraspable and transient nature of past memories.

Mike Silva (b. Sandviken, Sweden, 1970) lives and works in London.




Maureen Paley: Morena di Luna
29 Jun-15 Sep 2024


Mike Silva: New Paintings
The Approach
6 Jul-5 Aug 2023