Margo Selski’s ‘Family Secrets in Plain View’ Make The Personal Surreal [HuffPost]

Margo Selski’s ‘Family Secrets in Plain View’ Make The Personal Surreal [HuffPost]

Margo Selski’s paintings — with ball gowns made of eyes, braids of hair with agency of their own and the pointiest feet you’ve ever seen — look like the stuff of fairy tales. This is not totally false. Selksi was inspired by “The Tempest” and “Prospero’s Book of Mirrors.” Yet these fanciful and mysterious other worlds are not the product of pure imagination; Selski paints true stories of family secrets from her Kentucky youth. We seriously wonder what her family reunions are like.

To protect the privacy of her family members, Selski translates real secrets into a surreal visual language, drawing off Flemish 19th century portraiture. Yet her paintings look as if Jan Van Eyck took a little trip down the rabbit hole. Roosters and baby lambs crawl out from underneath petticoats and even the smallest of children are followed by ominous shadows. The distance from Kentucky to Flemish fantasyland is far indeed. We wonder how closely rendered the family secrets are…

Her works incorporate novel techniques to achieve an old (or even outside of time) effect. In an e-mail to The Huffington Post, Selski wrote that she concocted a recipe for fake craquelure, smearing her paintings with beeswax and then freezing them in a Chinese restaurant’s freezer. She then paints inside the frozen cracks in the beeswax to mimic Renaissance paintings that have cracked with age. Another trick up Selski’s sleeve involves embedding a ghostly under-image into her painting. She created her own paint that decays over time, thus revealing new things about the painting over the course of 10 years. Even the paintings’ secrets eventually come to light.

Check out Selski’s surreal paintings and see if you can solve her family mysteries.

Share:
Login

Search for an Artist or Artwork by Category

Artist
Style
Medium
Price
Size

Under the Rose (Sub rosa) – Limited Edition Unframed Print

19.3 x 20 in | 49 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

The Avarice Colony – Limited Edition Unframed Print

25.7 x 20 in | 65.3 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

Starla – Limited Edition Unframed Print

20 x 20 in | 50.8 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

Forage – Limited Edition Unframed Print

25 x 20 in | 63.5 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

Scavengers – Limited Edition Unframed Print

25.3 x 13 in | 64.3 x 33 cm

PURCHASE

Exit of the May Queen – Limited Edition Unframed Print

14 x 14 in | 35.6 x 35.6 cm

PURCHASE

Whirlwind – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

24 x 20 in | 61 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

The Visitors – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

20 x 24.7 in | 50.8 x 62.7 cm

PURCHASE

The Cape – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

20 x 28 in | 50.8 x 71.1 cm

PURCHASE

Pheasant Keeper – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

20 x 26.6 in | 50.8 x 67.7 cm

PURCHASE

Choctaw of Mississippi

24" x 30" / 61 x 76.2cm
Oil on Canvas

Milayla

14" x 14" / 35.6 x 35.6cm
Casein on Canvas

Apple of My Eye – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

20 x 24 in | 50.8 x 61 cm

PURCHASE

In the Distance – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

20 x 20 in | 50.8 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

Sojourn – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

24 x 20 in | 61 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

Light Keepers – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

20 x 24 in | 50.8 x 61 cm

PURCHASE

Low Tide – Limited Edition Unframed Print

30 x 20 in | 76.2 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

Icelander – Limited Edition Unframed Print

25 x 20 in | 63.5 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

Sprung

26.5 x 20 in | 67.3 x 50.8 cm

PURCHASE

Pecking Order – Second Limited Edition Unframed Print

20 x 16 in | 50.8 x 40.6 cm

PURCHASE

Turn Starboard

16 x 12 in | 40.6 x 30.5 cm

PURCHASE

Aurora Serenate

20" x 16" / 50.8 x 40.6cm
Watercolor on Clay Panel

Sound of Home

6" x 6" / 15.2 x 15.2cm
Watercolor on Clay Panel

The Eyes Tell The Story (Diptych)

48" x 72" / 121.9 x 182.9cm
Oil and Acrylic on Canvass

The Seamstress

36" x 24" / 91.4 x 61cm
Oil on Panel

Boogie Man

30" x 39" / 76.2 x 99.1cm
Oil on Panel

The Ghost

36" x 24" / 91.4 x 61cm
Oil on Panel

Schema of Suspects

66" x 61" / 167.6 x 154.9cm
Mixed Media 3 Piece Installation

Rococo

36" x 24" / 91.4 x 61cm
Oil on Panel

Account Login

Don’t have an acount? Sign up now.