Having Conversations Through Paintings

A Discussion with Victoria Cantons.

A self-taught multi-disciplinary artist who finds inspirations not only in her surroundings, her childhood but also in works of great masters - Victoria Cantons brings an insight into peoples relationships and intimacy through her art. Before she decided to pursue her tuition and graduated from Slade School of Art, London this year with an MFA in Painting, she was purely self-taught and used her passion for painting to push herself to learn all that she could about the art world by frequent museums and galleries visits. As a Londoner, she often explored artistic sites close to her heart such as The Victoria and Albert Museum as well as The British Museum, while she practised her craft and made connections along the way.

As a multi-disciplinary artist who mostly focuses on painting, drawing and photography, her work can be described as autobiographical, confessional and political with a lowercase p as although they are an important part of her life she does not like to make politics the centre of her work.

Cantons is an avid lover of art history, it is no surprise that she is inspired by a variety of illustrious artists. She studies both the old masters, such as Picasso, Titian and her peers, for example, Brice Marden and Tracey Emin;

I look to the old masters to see how they were dealing with making a painting and my contemporaries to see how they’re having a conversation about what’s going on in the world around us because the world around is the world around them and me at the same time.

These inspirations are certainly evident in many of her works of art. Jacques-Louis David’s inspiration comes to mind if one compares the positioning of the man in the background with Marrat in his last moments. “A new landmark” explores issues Canton's had to overcome as a transgender woman, trying to fight with her body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria along with having to deal with all the conversations and attitudes from various parts of society including people close to her or her parents. The male in the bed could be dead or “used up”, however, the woman is striding forward. She is not static, she is in motion and it seems that is now about to go out into the world to find what is there for herself leaving him behind. The blossoming flowers on the right-hand side of the painting can mean a rebirth as another expression pointing out towards a new life.