Tamara Muller's faces are almost always her own. They are stylized but rendered with an uncanny realism. Other parts of the canvas may be blocked in with simple brushwork or even left unfinished, because it is those faces that matter. They are not self portraits in the basic sense. Each one is a role although the role itself is sometimes vague, flickering between man, animal, woman, child, seducer, victim, sometimes combinations of two or more. There is a tension in them, between the presumed innocence of youth and the transgressive desires and guilt of adulthood. This disturbing psychological dichotomy is carefully balanced by a visual sense sense of wit and humor.
Many of her paintings remind me of the work of the American artist Alice Neel, whose deceptively simple technique was capable of capturing intense psychological portraits. The comparison is limited at best. Alice Neel painted other people. Tamara Muller's work is an unfolding and unflinching portrait of the self. And the accumulating body of that work is continually adding weight to its depth.
There are plenty of paintings to look at on her website: www.tamaramuller.nl
"Deleted Scenes 2" 100x100cm 2008
"Chapter 2" 150x120cm 2007
50x50cm oil on canvas 2005
50x60cm oil on canvas 2005
"Beast (birds)" 100x120cm oil on canvas 2005
"Beasts" 150x150cm oil on canvas 2005