Jemisha Maadhavji

Music in My Eyes, painting by Jemisha Maadhavji

From the moment we saw Jemisha Maadhavji’s portraits we were hooked on her bold use of colour and masterful representation of texture, in particular the richness of fabrics and jewellery she depicts.

Her work is contemporary in subject, but reminds us of the great Tudor portraits exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery. Her subjects are also intriguing, as she uses figurative painting to explore individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, personalities and genders through symbolism and narrative. The subjects often have a personal connection with the clothing depicted owing to their culture, profession or personality. The Rose, for example, represents beauty, the cycle of life and death, and the cycle of time. The Peacock feather represents immortality. When she embarks on a new work, Jemisha sees it as a poetic journey in which she searches for truth and beauty.

Exclusive to London Connoisseur

Symphony of The Libertine, painting by Jemisha Maadhavji

Symphony of The Libertine

Music in My Eyes, painting by Jemisha Maadhavji

Music in My Eyes

Jemisha Maadhavji

Brought up in Leicester, Jemisha graduated from de Montfort University with a First in Fine Art in 2018, where she was also awarded the Christopherson Collection Award. In 2018, she was invited to take part in the Columbia Threadneedle Prize Award at the Mall Galleries. Last year, she participated in a number of group exhibitions in London, including FBA Futures at the Mall Galleries, London Futures at The Other Art Fair and Perceptions at Cass Art (an event organised by Contemporary British Portrait Painters, CBPP, of which she is a member). In 2019, she was also given her first solo exhibition at StudionAme in Leicester. We rarely collaborate with emerging artists, preferring to wait until they reach the maturity of mid-career, but in Jemisha’s case we wanted to make an exception, as she already has that surety of style and confidence of purpose.

Her figures stand in front of a flat coloured background, making them the absolute centre of attention. Jemisha uses thin layers of oil paints on a variety of surfaces, most usually canvas but also paper and wood. Recently, she has particularly enjoyed painting on metal as it allows her to create the smallest detail with precision. It also makes colours more luminous, especially when natural light shines on the painting.

Of her work she says, “I don’t really think about the likeness when I’m painting someone. It’s more of a process of discovering who they are and how I see them and what they mean to me. When do we truly appreciate our own selves, who we are as individuals? This is what painting does: it discovers the subject through paint and that is what I feel I am doing when I am painting my subjects.”

As well as the works consigned exclusively to us, Jemisha is available for portrait commissions. Contact us for more details.

Visit Jemisha’s studio in our Private View section

Read the Harpers Bazaar (Art Issue) Arabia profile of Jemisha (PDF)

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