For centuries Carrera’s famous marble quarries have provided the highest quality stone for great masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s David; this place was both a practical and conceptual inspiration for Silver. During his stay there, Silver learned stone-carving from contemporary masters, and Untitled is one of his first attempts. Slightly awkward and disproportioned – a result of the stone’s original sculpted form rather than his newly learnt skills – the portrait’s subtle flaws accentuate its fragile beauty. Perched on a plinth that crudely replicates the columns of classical Roman architecture, the figure becomes ‘housed’ in, and an embodiment of, a structure denoting her patrician repose. By juxtaposing materials of high and low value and radically differing tactility Silver creates a sensual tension in his work that bridges the exotic and familiar.

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