Imogen Marsteller

Marsteller distinctively blends graphic and painterly elements, evident in her bold use of line, playful color choices, and shading.

The artist tells coming-of-age stories, seeking inspiration from her own life, the women around her, and the collective narrative of women’s experiences.

Born in Tucson, Arizona, Imogen Marsteller is a painter currently based in London.

Marsteller has a broad range of art-historical influences, embracing the lively aesthetics of Pop Art, the classical beauty of the Renaissance, and the dramatic dynamism of the Baroque. 

Imogen Marsteller holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London (2023) and a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Visual Arts and Art and Architectural History from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. She has recently attended a residency program at the Fish Factory Creative Centre in Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland, where she thrived in a context of relative isolation, allowing her to experiment freely.

Marsteller’s works have been exhibited at galleries in London and greater New York. Notable showcases include the Annual Open Exhibition at Southwark Park Gallery, Figuratively Speaking at Maximilian Wolfgang Gallery, and The Hari Art Prize at A Space for Art in London.

The artist’s ultimate objective is to convey vulnerability, depicting both the social and secretive aspects, while revealing the intimate and tragic moments of life.

From an expressive and unconventional Valentine’s Day imagery to a feminist reinterpretation of a myth, the paintings presented in this collection unveil a rich spectrum of emotions and narratives. The artist adeptly navigates themes, encompassing the trials of forging connections in a new environment to the nuanced expressions of love, loss, and resilience.

Having requested friends to capture and share images depicting how they cope and unwind during challenging times, Marsteller received a response from one friend in the form of a photo. The image portrays the friend releasing stress by screaming into a pillow. The artist found this expression particularly fitting for the political climate and, as a result, felt compelled to paint it.

Marsteller painted this work around Valentine’s Day, expressing a desire to create a mockery of conventional Valentine’s Day imagery. The intention was to convey the concept of a femme fatale murder mystery, commencing with the unmistakable evidence of her victim’s demise.

In the aftermath of any breakup, whether it be a friendship or a romantic relationship, a profound sense of loss envelops individuals, as if a part of themselves is slipping away, tethered to their hearts. The inspiration for these emotions is drawn from the song “Head and Heart on Fire” by the Swedish singer Leon—a poignant anthem that deeply resonated with Marsteller during the creation of this piece.

Crafted at the dawn of a new relationship, this painting reflects a moment when Marsteller embarked on a journey with her now-boyfriend of two years. Despite being a painter who predominantly portrays her own likeness, the vulnerability of intimacy made her feel remarkably shy. In reality, she often finds herself retreating, as she is inherently body-shy—a facet not easily revealed in her art.

Sometimes paintings do not turn out the way you want them to. The first version of a painting may be stabbed with the end of a paintbrush and torn off the canvas in anger, but there is something rather beautiful about seeing it beside the version you actually finished.

Marsteller presents a feminist and personal reinterpretation of the Medusa myth, narrating the tale of a woman transformed into a monster after enduring an assault on the steps of Athena’s temple. The narrative challenges the unfair attribution of blame to the woman for her own misfortune.

Crafted upon completing her master’s degree, this painting emerged from Marsteller’s sense of disillusionment as the weight of numerous rejections began to take its toll on her pursuit of success. In response to this emotional turbulence, she sought to create something beautiful from the profound feeling of loss.

Inspired by a prompt for a show commemorating the closure of the Peacocks clothing store, Marsteller visited the now-abandoned shop. Amidst the remnants, she discovered a vast pile of old bright green clothing tags, which now form the preserved background of the painting. The artwork evokes the familiar feeling of having a closet full of clothes while still experiencing the sensation of having nothing to wear, a sentiment with which the artist resonates.

Upon her initial move to London, Marsteller faced the daunting challenge of establishing connections and friendships, as she did not know a single person in the city. This painting captures the essence of her bonds, woven through online interactions on her laptop with friends and family residing far away. The computer and cords within the artwork serve as symbols, embodying the absence of tangible connections with those who genuinely cared about her.

Being an artist is about resilience, and wild self-belief, or at the least the delusion of self-belief.

Artworks

  • Imogen Marsteller Head and Heart on Fire (2021)Oil on canvas

    (h) 100 x (w) 100 x (d) 2.5 cm

    $3,500
  • Imogen Marsteller I Have Nothing to Wear (2022)Ink stamp, store tags, oil sticks…

    (h) 90 x (w) 90 x (d) 3.8 cm

    $3,250
  • Imogen Marsteller I Killed Them (2020)Aqua oil and oil on canvas

    (h) 70 x (w) 50 cm

    $2,000
  • Imogen Marsteller In The Face of Constant Rejection (2023)Oil on linen

    (h) 150 x (w) 150 x (d) 4 cm

    $4,500
  • Imogen Marsteller Io Sono Nuda (2022)Pigment, graphite, colour pencil…

    (h) 80 x (w) 50 x (d) 4 cm Each four

    $4,000
  • Imogen Marsteller Lost Connection (2022)Pigment, oil and graphite on linen

    (h) 100 x (w) 80 x (d) 4 cm

    $3,250
  • Imogen Marsteller Scream (2022)Oil on canvas

    (h) 100 x (w) 85 x (d) 4 cm

    $3,300
  • Imogen Marsteller We Are More Than The Victims They Make Us Out to Be (2022)Graphite and oil on linen

    (h) 90 x (w) 80 x (d) 4 cm

    $3,000

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