Demonstrating an acute sensitivitytothe psyche of her subjects, Ball’s enigmatic portraits explore the way we project images of ourselves to the world. The show is accompanied by a new monograph that spans the last five years of the artist’s practice, featuring essays by Flavia Frigeri (curator, National Portrait Gallery, London) and Philomena Epps (writer).
Using closely cropped compositions, this body of work celebrates individuals whose self-expression contest conventional gender norms. Ball focuses on the idiosyncrasies of her sitters by depicting their physiognomy, jewellery, makeup and tattoos. These new paintings reveal a newly abstracted visual language for the artist. Soft brushstrokes, muted colour palettes and monochromatic backgrounds contrast with the confrontational gazes of her subjects. The immediacy of their gazes is intensified by the dramatic shifts in scale of the paintings.