Natalie Papamichael (born 1971) is a figurative artist whose paintings and drawings emerge from a dialogue between her personal experiences and her study of art history, psychoanalysis, and feminism.
Raised in England by a French mother and Greek father, she moved to Paris in her early twenties and started painting and exhibiting work during a period of ill health and hospitalization. In 1996 she returned to London to study Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Subsequently, she became involved with the Women’s Art Library, researching feminist performance artists of the 1970s and creating her own performances. She went on to study an MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she explored the exclusion of women from academic training and received art history. Motivated to focus on combining this research with her own studio practice, she traveled to Florence to learn classical painting techniques of the Old Masters.
Inspired by the historical breadth of female artists, from the seventeenth-century Baroque painter, Artemisia Gentileschi to contemporary photographer, Anna Gaskell, she has continued to train herself using the academic model. After initially copying works by women artists she has gone on to create new narratives using masquerade, performance, and self-portraiture. Through creating and re-writing her own personal narratives she seeks to intervene in phallocentric art history and to question the position of women as both subject and object.
She has exhibited with Shape Arts and has spoken about her practice and process in relation to feminist art history as part of ‘InPractice’ at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and ‘Share Art’ at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. She currently lives and works in Brighton.