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ANOUSHKA FISZ | ’It's Killing Me’
August 20th 2021
Gazing below the flawless surface of the natural world, and later into her personal shadows, Anoushka Fisz’ portraits aspire to reveal the unseen by way of extreme closeups of the subject. Early photographs of plants were infused with the dramatic sensibilities of classic portraits, provoking an unease in the viewer by displaying hidden details normally overlooked in everyday life. Years later, confronted by emotions triggered by a life-changing event, led to a dramatic shift in her work as the artist turned the camera towards her. Four photographic editions on paper titled It’s Killing Me were released in 2001 as part of the artist’s second major exhibition in London.
by Henrik Riis
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
Characteristics observed from afar are very different than at a short distance. By narrowing the distance to a subject, layers are revealed gradually, details uncovered - and what at first appeared as a vague image or even just a silhouette, exposes itself as something different, like standing up close to an impressionist painting. Here, certain details may enhance encouraging features and the understanding - until a reverse effect occurs. Placing a pink spring rosebud under a microscope, to optimise and explore its immense beauty, it is an eery surreal world that awaits. Too close and you may get far more than you bargained for.

Fisz’ apprenticeship in Paris in the late eighties taught her the first lessons about dramatic storytelling through the distance to a subject. Her mentor, a photographer named Plichta, had returned to the city of lights after shooting classic portraits of movie stars in Los Angeles in the forties and fifties. From the constellation of individual portraits of Hollywood’s golden era that had built the career of the French photographer, Fisz found inspiration to create her own collection of portraits. These photographs would be far from glitz and glamour. The debut show in London at the Mayor Gallery, titled ‘Alien Sex Mother’, displayed an exotic side of the natural world. Clusters of tiny fruits opening, photographed in microscopic details, unveil a visual aggressive composition of a multi-eyed alien monster; the surface of frond leaves depicts a surreal landscape from the far side of the moon; or buds and blossoms that become weirdly erotic.
ANOUSHKA FISZ
Its Killing Me .., 2001

Edition of 100
40(w) x 48(h) cm
15.75(w) x 19.02(h) inches
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ANOUSHKA FISZ
Its Killing Me .., 2001

Edition of 100
40(w) x 48(h) cm
15.75(w) x 19.02(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
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Anoushka Fisz (British, b. 1969)
40(w) x 48(h) cm
15.75(w) x 19.02(h) inches
Iris print on paper with deckled edges

Image size: 13.75 x 17 in

Signed, dated and numbered on verso.
Edition of 100
PRICE
$ 400.00 Available from a private collection
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Art, music and photography was a part of Fisz’ life early on. Growing up to her mother’s jazzy rhythms and the moving images of her filmmaking father, she quickly found passion and power in the creative arts. Unlike other teenagers of the eighties, Fisz’ rebellion was turning the family bathroom into a darkroom; slowly deteriorating the décor in the room as the fumes from the chemicals used in the developing process loosened the glue on the back of the wallpaper. Fifteen years later the passing of her father would turn her world upside down, contributing to a major shift in her artistic practice where she directed the camera away from the natural world and towards her.

In 2001 the artist released It’s Killing Me, a very intimate series of works where Fisz tries to come to terms with the changes in her life. The collection of monochrome portraits shows the artist in different emotional expressions. One image lacks almost any facial expressions, just a blank stare onto an unfixed point in front of her; motionless as a marble statue, highlighted by her flawless complexion and classical beauty. The viewer cannot help to feel empathy, although suspecting that behind the surface lies a volcano of sensations ready to erupt anytime, as seen in another of her portraits from the series. Here, an almost demonic expression comes to show. Overexposed, the outline of her face has vanished leaving one eye darkened by a deep shadow and her mouth blurred by erratic movement.
ANOUSHKA FISZ
Its Killing Me ..., 2001

Edition of 100
48(w) x 40(h) cm
19.02(w) x 15.75(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
Your Offer *
Name *
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ANOUSHKA FISZ
Its Killing Me ..., 2001

Edition of 100
48(w) x 40(h) cm
19.02(w) x 15.75(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
* Required fields
Anoushka Fisz (British, b. 1969)
48(w) x 40(h) cm
19.02(w) x 15.75(h) inches
Iris print on paper with deckled edges

Image size: 17 x 13.75 in

Signed, dated and numbered on verso.
Edition of 100
PRICE
$ 400.00 Available from a private collection
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Two other images reveal very little of Fisz, except for a shape of an eye from the depths of the shadow surrounding her. Is the artist looking into the uncertainty and darkness through the knife-shaped opening - trying to make sense of it all - or is she hiding from the reality, and eventually discovering the inevitable hope of light? Not much about each portrait is communicated to the viewer per se, but once the influence behind the collection of works is understood, the otherwise abstract title becomes uncomfortably clear, and the portraits emerge as a powerful representation of the effect of loss of a friend or family member.

Clearly influenced by her former mentor, Fisz’ works have references to the artists of the Pictures Generation, a movement rising out of the rebellious New York art scene in the eighties. Particularly, the staged self-portraits by Cindy Sherman drawing attention to women’s roles and society; and from Fisz’ later series, Robert Longo’s photo-realistic drawings of friends in ‘Men in the Cities’, dressed as urban professionals in exaggerated and distorted poses.

Shortly after the exhibition It’s Killing Me the artist decided to pause her career and focus on family life on the West Coast in the United States. The series exhibited in 2003 in Los Angeles, titled ‘Sleep With Me’, was an elaboration on the theme from two years earlier in London and Fisz described the works as a way to exorcise her fears and anxieties, and incredibly therapeutic to her. As works in the start of the artist’s career, the two series It’s Killing Me and ‘Sleep With Me’ have a significance and a quality to them that could have been the manifestation of her future practice. Only the future will tell if Fisz makes a comeback and enlights the art world with her talent.
ANOUSHKA FISZ
Its Killing Me ., 2001

Edition of 100
48(w) x 40(h) cm
19.02(w) x 15.75(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
Your Offer *
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
* Required fields
ANOUSHKA FISZ
Its Killing Me ., 2001

Edition of 100
48(w) x 40(h) cm
19.02(w) x 15.75(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
* Required fields
Anoushka Fisz (British, b. 1969)
48(w) x 40(h) cm
19.02(w) x 15.75(h) inches
Iris print on paper with deckled edges

Image size: 17 x 13.75 in

Signed, dated and numbered on verso.
Edition of 100
PRICE
$ 400.00 Available from a private collection
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
It’s Killing Me by Anoushka Fisz, her second major solo show in London, opened at Eyestorm’s gallery in November 2001 - and from the show four photographic editions of the same title were released. Printed on paper in editions of 100 each, the dusty black colour enhanced by the matt surface of the iris prints give each work a calm appearance, highlighting the contrast between light and shadow. The prints are signed, dated and numbered on verso.

You can find the photographic editions from It’s Killing Me, and see the works in further details, on Anoushka Fisz’ artist page here.
 
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