Natasha Lelenco (MD)

Text written by GHA

Spanish painter Natasha Lelenco works primarily with oil and acrylic paint to create surreal portraits that mesh the human form with unconventional elements. 

In her series ‘Exchange Currencie,’ she depicts sideways portraits of men and women, often laid over floral backgrounds reminiscent of tapestry and embroidery. She seamlessly combines this pixelated and woven effect in the background with an extremely detailed depiction of human faces. These faces are in profile, only depicted from the right, and the base is circular, evoking thoughts of coins and currency. The unified colour of the backgrounds seem to define the emotion of the figures as they pridefully and aristocratically gaze into the distance.

Natasha Lelenco

 In her new series, Lelenco once again constructs portraits which contrast natural and man-made elements. She depicts parts of nature, such as insects, leaves, and flowers, and combines them with distinctly man-made objects, such as ribbons, clothing, and bowls. In some works, she includes strikingly realistic human faces gazing intensely at the viewer and surrounded by natural elements. In others, she creates anthropomorphic human faces out of these plants and objects, suggesting only a hint of eyes, nose and mouth. However, she tends to maintain a consistent human silhouette, allowing for continuity and a style reminiscent of classic portraits.

The incongruousness of objects within Lelenco’s new portraits may at first seem out of place and a bit humorous. However, with a closer look, the viewer can recognize that her pieces seem to be a commentary on the continuity of the life cycle. Human objects blend seamlessly with natural elements, creating an intriguing and united whole. This cyclical nature is also visible in the plants themselves; sometimes Lelenco depicts plants in bloom, lush and ripe, while in others, they are decaying or slowly consumed by insects. 

Lelenco’s portraits are striking in their proposition that humans and their creations are not a separate entity from nature but rather a part of it, growing, thriving, and decaying in unison.

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Exchance Currencie 3                            Exchange Currencie 4