Biography

Somaya Critchlow is a British artist whose work explores the portrayal of the self and the psychological aspect of the black female body through popular culture. Working in different scales, Crtichlow unveils an open-ended circuitous narrative through her depictions of alluring, exaggerated, curvaceous female forms that simultaneously combine and subvert the culture expectations of race, gender and power in the history of portraiture. Imbued with rich, dramatic brushstrokes, dark tones and sharp highlights, her heroines emerge starkly against backdrops of thinned oils evocative of atmospheric monochromatic backgrounds, that point towards the autobiographical with critical observations of contemporary life, through a classically inspired language of painting.


Somaya Critchlow (b. 1993, London) lives and works in London. She received her BA in Painting at the University of Brighton before joining The Royal Drawing School in London, which she completed in 2017. Somaya recently had a solo show at Efrain Lopez Projects in Chicago and has previously exhibited at Pignano Residency, Voltera Pisa, Italy (2017), with the Sassoon Gallery (Folkstone) at the 2017 Folkestone Triennial, and at ArtLacuna, London (2016). Critchlow is currently included in a group show at the Orleans House gallery (Twickenham, England) and will present a solo exhibition of new work at Maximillian William, London in 2019.