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Nicky Hoberman (South African, b.1967)
Prima Ballerina
2011
Oil on canvas
Signed, dated and titled on the reverse
84 x 72 inches (213.36 x 182.88 cm)
Price on request

Painted in London in November of 2011.
 
Like most of her protagonists, the figures in Nicky Hoberman’s works come across with strong stances, holding their ground.  They are outwardly tough, often staring at you with an air of defiance.  Yet these young figures, most often girls, hide their inner sweetness behind this facade.   The artist likes to play with titles and the present work is no different from any other.
 
Prima Ballerina plays off of the figure of the disgruntled little girl, sitting pretty much in a heap, the folds of her tu-tu out of sorts like her.  The little dancer's strong glare isn't so much at someone as much as it is about something.  Has she been asked to sit out of her dance class, or even worse, her recital?  The little girl's facial expressions and body language are more in tune with a prima donna rather than a prima ballerina.  In all of the Prima Ballerina works, Nicky Hoberman, through altering tone and color, creates additional layers of meaning within the same emotional state.

Nicky Hoberman is not interested in likenesses and she is not a portraitist in the traditional sense.  What appear as portraits are merely states of emotions or expressions and the artists’ way of defining the people, young or old, within her world.

Provenance:

Acquired directly from the artist